Safety and transit to top budget – Metro US

Safety and transit to top budget

Regional councillors have yet to sink their teeth into the proposed budget, which was presented at City Hall last night. But it’s not too early to say where the major investments will lie. Here’s a look at how the city plans to spend its money this year.
Public Safety:
>> Fourteen more police officers, pending the approval of the provincial budget. A federal program could result in five or six additional officers.
>> About $300,000 for sheltering services. These funds will act as a placeholder until the current debate about cat licensing is settled.
>> An expansion of the Highfield Park fire station to accommodate training.
>> The consolidation of Halifax Regional Police Services in Burnside Industrial Park.
>> A youth advocacy program.
>> Metro transit will get almost double what it got last year at more than $30 million.
>> Ten buses will be replaced, and 15 will be added to the fleet to expand services.
>> The first spine of the rural transit service will be implemented.
>> The Community Facilities Master Plan will be completed.
Community development:
>> HRM by Design will be completed for downtown Halifax in 2008, and for the rest of the regional centre by 2011.
>> Three communities will begin the visioning process.
>> A master plan for the Cogswell Interchange.
>> The conclusion of the joint public lands plan.
Tax reform:
>> The tax reform committee is expected to return to City Hall in late June with the result of public consultation sessions.
Other initiatives:
>> Funds will be set aside for the 2009 World Canoe Championships and the 2011 Canada Games.
>> Two Harbour treatment plants will be constructed.
>> Council will move toward e-democracy and a paperless system.
>> The municipal charter will come before the legislature.
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