Cutting 21,500 hours of service from Calgary Transit is expected to save the city $1.2 million — one of the hardest-hit areas in paring back the 2010 city budget.

The city released its proposed 2010 budget Thursday, and included trimming transit service on “low-usage routes” in order to bring in a projected property-tax increase of only 4.8 per cent, which would mean about $4.50 per month for the average homeowner.

Council will meet on Nov. 23 to deliberate over the proposed budget, which also includes delaying the opening of firehouses and adding 67 new positions within the Calgary police. It also includes cutting 135 full-time city positions — but only 31 will result in actual layoff notices.

The proposed adjustments include more than $20 million in cost reductions from tax-supported programs, utilities and self-supported operations to maintain the proposed 4.8 per cent property-tax increase, which is down from an earlier projected 6.1 per cent hike.

Aldermen will still need to deal with deferred decisions on issues such as graffiti abatement, changes suggested by the transit safety audit and the maintenance of Race City Speedway.

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