This week, council returns from a break to start its deliberations on the fall supplemental budget adjustment on Nov. 21, with continuations scheduled for Nov. 22, 27, 28, and 29 if required.
- Administration says a 7.09% tax increase is needed to maintain services, about 2% higher than forecast when city council set the 2023-2026 budget in December 2022. If council approved this increase, households would pay about $750 yearly for every $100,000 of assessed home value. The city's financial pressures include a salary settlement for police that is higher than forecast and increased energy costs, as well as lower revenues from transit and ATCO gas franchise fees.
- Administration is recommending a net increase of $80 million to the capital budget. Many of the capital items that administration recommends funding are previously approved construction and renewal projects at the end of the planning stage. These now need funding to be built. The Edmonton Police Service is requesting about $6.25 million in new funds for five projects, including technology and equipment upgrades, and for new vehicles for the Human-centred Engagement and Liaison Partnership program.
- Council could choose to fund new services and programs through the operating budget adjustment. Unfunded service packages include $4.7 million to redeploy the Southeast Valley Line LRT precursor buses, currently set to be phased out in February. Administration has detailed two packages, totalling $13.8 million, linked to the city's response to homeless encampments. The first is for responding to complaints, which have gone up by 1,000% since 2016, while resources have not kept pace. The second is to fund outreach workers and bridge-housing spaces, which the city said it hopes will help people leave encampments and enter permanent housing.
City council will also hold a public hearing on Nov. 20, with rezonings for several apartment buildings in the south-central area and supportive housing in Athlone on the table.