It is now up to city council to sign off on the proposed budget presented by the administration on Thursday.
A 4.18 per cent increase to taxes is on the table, along with a five per cent jump to water rates this coming March and another five per cent next year.
And there doesn’t appear to be much wiggle room in those numbers.
“We have to run a city and eight cents of every tax dollar that you give to governments – federal, provincial and city – goes to our city to run, so we don’t have a lot of room here,” Fougere said.
In the past, council has debated and eventually voted on reducing what the administration has proposed.
Fougere is giving nothing away, but understands why people might be alarmed by rising water rates.
“Just to give some historical context here, we had years past a nine per cent increase in utility. We’re at five per cent. A few years ago, it was six per cent – so we are mindful of the issue,” Fougere said.
“Is five per cent the right number? The administration says for this year, it is, but we have asked them for a longer review, over the next few years, is that the right number.”
The administration will be looking at a 25-year model for future water rates.
Council will debate the proposed budget and hear feedback at a special budget meeting Feb. 13.