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Region seeks public input in shaping its 2020 budget priorities

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Working on its 2020 budget, Waterloo Region is looking to community input to shape its spending priorities, from library services to public transit.

With an engagement push, regional officials want you to have your say, whether it’s at a public meeting or via an online survey. Up for discussion is the value of current service levels and proposed enhancements in the 2020 budget. Topics include cultural services, roads, MobilityPLUS transit service enhancements, child care, housing services, seniors services, public health programs, paramedic services, and balancing service levels with tax increases.

“Our goal is to provide residents good value for their tax dollars,” said Coun. Sean Strickland, chair of the budget committee, in a release.

The first question, for instance, lays out the state of library services – the region provides library services through 10 rural branches across four rural townships, visited some 900,000 times per year on average.

It will cost the average taxpayer $84 per household throughout Woolwich, Wellesley, Wilmot, and North Dumfries in the proposed 2020 budget. Survey users can then agree or disagree that “the cost of this service is good value for money.” 

Proposed service tweaks include adding more personal support workers at Sunnyside Home, more paramedics and ambulance, enhancing transit service (particularly in Wilmot Township), more buses for increase MobilityPLUS service for people with physical and cognitive disabilities, adding more resources to the Waterloo Region housing master plan, and Public Health funding.

The online questionnaire takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and is open until December 20. Staff will summarize the results for the regional council to consider, which may have an impact on the decision making process for the 2020 budget.

Anyone is welcome to attend public input meeting scheduled for December 11 at 6 p.m. in council chambers at the Region of Waterloo municipal building.

The online survey can be completed online.

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