Spending and saving priorities

Learn how the city is maintaining current services, increasing investment in our facilities and infrastructure, and how we’re saving money.

On this page

  1. Maintaining service levels
  2. Investing in facilities and infrastructure
  3. Supporting our strategic plan
  4. Funding capital projects
  5. Finding savings and efficiencies

Maintaining service levels

Image of a snow plow clear a street that has large snow banks with a dump truck following behind to collect the snowThe City of Waterloo's 2023 budget requires a progressive approach to provide a high level of service that everyone has come to enjoy, while keeping taxes at a reasonable level. Continuing to support current service levels at the city, some funding examples are:

  • $290,000 to the Waterloo Region Municipalities Insurance Pool to fund the increased cost of third party insurance coverage that increased the city’s contribution to the insurance pool
  • $190,000 to make our roads safer through inspections, signage, traffic calming and winter operations
  • $100,000 to increase winter and parks maintenance, funding rising fuel prices and winter control salt

Investing in facilities and infrastructure

Picture inside our East Side Library branch. Shows overhead lighting that is artist in shape with swirls hanging from the ceiling and an open concept floow with shevles of booksOngoing funding needs are supporting our facilities and infrastructure growth. For the 2023 budget, the city is focusing on:

  • $700,000 towards our infrastructure reserve fund, continuing to close the average annual tax funding gap for tax-based assets
  • $290,000 to fund the Waterloo Public Library for ongoing expenses taking into account inflation and growth
  • $110,000 towards a vactor truck that delivers precise and safe excavation for buried utilities, cleaning of catch basins and other buried infrastructure

Supporting our strategic plan

Image of a street with mid-size high rises that are affordable housingEvery four years Waterloo creates a strategic plan to guide the current council term. The following initiatives will continue to build upon the current strategic plan priorities:

  • $225,000 in program funding to build support for accessibility, equity, anti-racism, and Indigenous reconciliation and initiatives
  • $90,000 towards an infrastructure analyst to track any risks or errors in updating our system applications to maintain a safe network and keep cyber security threats at bay
  • $75,000 in increased affordable housing program funding, increasing the city’s ability to support the affordable housing grant program and affordable housing strategy

Funding capital projects

Image of a smart water meter system attached to a brick houseOur capital budget provides money to programs, initiatives and infrastructure projects that are ongoing and help in building a strong and sustainable community.

For the 2023 budget, our capital projects will focus on a wide variety of projects with some highlights below:

  • an affordable housing strategy
  • implementing a corporate climate action plan
  • Alexandra Park expansion
  • resurfacing our roads and bike lanes
  • working on a municipal trails at the former Waterloo Inn lands
  • a storm bypass and creek bank stabilization at Keats Way

We will also work towards continuing the advanced water metering implementation, stronger cyber security measures, computer upgrades at Waterloo Public Library and a universal washroom at the Button Arts Factory facility.

Finding savings and efficiencies

Image of a person holding a smart phone showing the City of Waterloo website translated into OromoThe 2023 budget includes 1.3 million in budget savings, which is equal to a 1.5% tax savings.

The city also implements ongoing improvements that may not translate into budget savings, but helps deliver better quality of work and avoids incurring costs in the future. We are doing this by:

  • Electric powered robotic mower that can be operated 24/7, improving the turf at the Laurel Creek Conservation Area cricket field
  • Improving accessibility and customer service with a language translation tool on the corporate website
  • GPS tracking of our contract winter service providers to get support to areas that require additional services