For Immediate Release
March 1, 2001

Joseph Pennachetti
Treasurer and Commissioner of Finance
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, Ext. 4258

No Tax or Utility Rate Increase in Peel's 2001 Budget

(Brampton) - Regional Council's Budget Sub-committee today approved the 2001 Current and Capital Budget that keeps the Region of Peel 2001 average tax rates at 2000 levels and also freezes water and wastewater rates at last year's level.

"This budget is an interesting exercise because while the approvals are now in writing from Regional Council, the actual work that goes into operating effective, fiscally responsible and sustainable programs and services is a budget process that runs 365 days a year," said Peel Regional Chair Emil Kolb. "The 2,700 employees at the Region of Peel all play a role in what gets described as the Budget through their dedication to the jobs they do every day, and they should be congratulated."

The 2001 Current and Capital Budget was approved at a total expenditure of approximately $1.0 billion. This includes $787.7 million for operating purposes and capital expenditures of $232.2 million.

"Peel Regional Council has challenged staff in our three-year Strategic Plan to never rest on past laurels but continue to reach for new innovations in service delivery that meet the needs of our growing population," said Chief Administrative Officer Roger Maloney. "I am proud of the achievements we have made, including the Provincial Government selecting Peel Ontario Works as one of its seven call intake centres, our award by the Province of two new nursing homes, the introduction of Regional Ambulance Services, Peel Health's work with area municipalities on new non-smoking bylaws, and Waste Management's strong long-range plans for diverting waste from landfill. The list of achievements goes on, and Regional staff are energized by these successes to strive for more," he said.

Council also approved in principle the $1.7 billion, 10-year Capital Plan. This Plan addresses infrastructure, construction and replacement costs and reserves from development charges.

To address increased service needs, this year's budget provides for the construction of two new long-term care facilities, service enhancements associated with the assumption of land ambulance service delivery from the province, additional waste management initiatives to increase waste diversion, and costs associated with the devolution of social housing.

Chair Kolb acknowledged Regional Council's role in the financial well-being of the Region. "Stable government, strong infrastructure services, excellent Public Health, Housing and Social Services, and the best Police, Ambulance and Emergency Services in Ontario all form the foundation of a strong community. Peel Region is a great place to live, work and play and we at the Region of Peel are proud to play a part through our service to its citizens."

In addition, Council endorsed the 2001 Region of Peel Police Services Board budget of $141.9 million, a net increase of $6.4 million. The key drivers behind this increase are the recruitment of new officers and support staff.

"The 2001 Business Plan and our 10-year $1.7 billion Capital Plan reflects the financial management principles of sustainable financing which support the Region's Strategic Plan, Beyond 2000 - Directions for Peel's Future. We continue to be debt-free at the Region of Peel, and this budget continues our tradition of long-term sustainable infrastructure financing from reserves that positions the Region for continued economic growth," said Peel Region's Treasurer and Commissioner of Finance Joe Pennachetti.

Fiscal 2001 marks the fourth year in which the Region of Peel has contributed to the operation of GO Transit, since the provincial government included this service in its Local Service Restructuring (LSR) initiative.

Highlights of the Budget include:

The average homeowner pays $1,302 for Regional Services and $275 in utility rates for water and wastewater services each year.

Regional services include: waste pick-up and disposal, arterial roads, water, waste water, Public Health, Ontario Works in Peel (social assistance), Seniors Services, Children's Services, Social Housing, GO Transit, Transhelp (disabled transit), Heritage Programs, Regional Planning, Land Ambulance, 9-1-1 and Emergency Programs, and Police Services.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Accompanying graphics are available.

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail

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