The average property owner in Ottawa will be paying $138, or 3.77 per cent, more in taxes this year.

City council finally approved the 2010 budget Thursday night without cutting Crime Prevention Ottawa or transit routes.

In approving this year’s budget, councillors universally applauded the improved process that eliminated the protests and bickering that accompanied previous deliberations.

Restoring transit service and CPO added around $3.5 million to the budget. That was offset by reduced funding for Lansdowne Park maintenance and IT renewal.

If students at the city’s two universities agree to pay $145 per semester for a universal transit pass, council has approved a pilot project for that program without setting any funds aside for it.

According to Transit Services general manager Alain Mercier, the U-Pass would cost OC Transpo $3 million per semester.

Although he did not want to approve a project without a specific amount, Mayor Larry O’Brien endorsed the U-Pass pilot project because he said council did not believe the numbers put forward by OC Transpo.

“Quite frankly, Mr. Mercier, your department, in terms of giving this council accurate numbers, it hasn’t been very good,” said O’Brien.