For 2021, the City has identified an additional $5 million in cost efficiencies to offset increased expenses. This brings the total value of efficiencies found since 2018 close to $20 million.
Through our pre-budget consultation, we have heard your priorities in roads, recreation and community well-being. The 2021 Budget reflects these priorities.
The health and safety of our community continues to be the City’s top priority. The COVID-19 pandemic will have an ongoing impact on finances in 2021. Using funding received through the federal Safe Re-Start Program, the City of Regina has proactively dedicated $15.9 million to a COVID-19 Recovery Reserve. This provides the City with a dedicated source of funding to offset expenses and lost revenue related to COVID-19 in 2021.
In 2021, the City will invest $133 million in general capital funds toward maintenance, renewal and new construction of important infrastructure throughout Regina. The City will also spend $31 million in funds from the Municipal Economic Enhancement Program on various capital projects approved last year.
The Recreation/Culture Capital Program and Recreation Infrastructure Program (dedicated 0.5 per cent mill rate) will invest $3 million and $2.6 million, respectively, to advance Regina’s Recreation and Cultural Master Plans.
City Operations at a Glance
The 2021 Budget Supports...
How we live, move, connect and grow.
The City provides services that residents rely on each day at home, at work and in the community. This includes water, garbage and recycling collection, police, fire and protective services. We work to continually innovate and find new and better ways to deliver services, to create efficiencies and make careful choices so that these services can be provided safely, consistently and most affordably.
Community Safety & Wellbeing
- $99.6 million for Regina Police Service – increase of $3.5 million over 2020 to support RPS strategic growth plan. View the proposed RPS Budget.
- $45.9 million to fund Regina Fire & Protective Services - responds to more than 9,000 incidents each year.
- $2.5 million for Housing Incentive Program – annual investment to support affordable housing development.
- $500,000 from the COVID-19 Recovery Reserve will be allocated to programs and services supporting harm reduction through the Community Investments Grants Program.
Utility Fund Capital Investments
- $58 million for infrastructure renewal and new construction, maintenance of Regina’s water, wastewater and stormwater systems. This includes
- $10.1 million toward initial replacement and upgrading of water meters throughout Regina, which
will provide real-time information and improve efficiency.
- $25.9 million toward water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure renewal, which is funded through user fees on a cost-recovery basis.
- $10.1 million toward initial replacement and upgrading of water meters throughout Regina, which
Regina’s Water Utility operates on a full cost recovery basis and ensures Regina residents enjoy safe and reliable water, wastewater and stormwater services. 2021 marks the final year of a 3-year annual 3 per cent increase to water rates approved by Council in 2018.
Expanded Waste Diversion
In 2021, multi-stream waste sorting stations (mixed-recycling, compost and garbage) will be added to all City-owned facilities, including indoor and outdoor recreation spaces, bus shelters, fire stations and leased spaces. This will further increase waste diversion at the Landfill and contribute to our goal of becoming a sustainable community.
The condition of Regina’s roads and pathways, as well as availability and access to transportation, impacts how well residents and visitors are able to move and travel throughout Regina.
- $34.5 million for road infrastructure renewal, including $18 million for residential roads.
- $15 million to replace Winnipeg Street Bridge, and $4.2 million for other bridge infrastructure renewal.
- $39.3 million for Regina Transit and Paratransit, which provides over 7.5 million rides annually.
- $1.7 million for planning future road improvements to support the growth of our community.
Winter Road Maintenance
Service adjustments related to reduced annual snowfall has resulted in a lower overall maintenance cost while allowing to plan for enhanced services in school zones, to plow all sidewalks adjacent to transit stops, and to pay more attention to high traffic residential roads.
Parks, recreation and cultural services are essential to providing a higher quality of life for residents and meaningful ways to become connected with our neighbours and enhance our overall well-being.
- $4.7 million dedicated for future cost of new aquatic centre or existing aquatic infrastructure as needed.
- $3 million for completion of Wascana Pool. (An additional $12 million in MEEP funding means the City will not have to assume debt to complete this project.)
- $12.7 million for Community Investment Program grants that support economic development, culture, sport and recreation, and social development.
- $200,000 from the Community Investment Reserve will be used for sports programming for people with disabilities.
Recreation Infrastructure Program
- $2.6 million - The second year of the dedicated 0.5 per cent mill rate will fund investment in recreation infrastructure throughout Regina, including $1.6 million for the planning and preliminary design of a new aquatic centre.
Recreation/Culture Capital Program
- $3 million - This ongoing capital program will allow investments to be made annually to advance Regina’s Culture and Recreation Master Plans, and to projects that enhance quality of life.
New Park/Open Space Maintenance
Annually, the City spends approximately $15.9 million to maintain 1,600 hectares of parks throughout Regina, including more than 160,000 handplanted trees. As Regina grows, the City assumes ownership of new parks and open spaces built by developers. In 2021, the City assumes maintenance of 4.55 hectares more for an increased cost of $50,000.
Healthy and sustainable communities are created through population growth and complete neighbourhoods for residents of all ages to live, work, and access the services they need. This is influenced by community planning, funding new and renewable infrastructure, and supporting economic development.
- $12.4 million to support the Facilities Asset Management Program, which is designed to extend the use of City-owned facilities and reduce expenses in the future.
- $7 million for South East Lands Development.
- $4.4 million for development of The Yards neighbourhood as part of the Regina Revitalization Initiative.
Regina has committed to becoming a fully renewable city by 2050. An Energy & Sustainability Framework is being developed to map out the actions we need to take in the community over the next 30 years to shift to renewable energy sources and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Work in 2021 includes creating a
community energy and emissions inventory. Up to $800,000 will be invested to develop the Framework.
Closing the Infrastructure Funding Gap
Since 2011, the City has more than tripled its commitment to reduce the funding gap for future infrastructure costs. In 2021, the City will spend $58 million toward capital expenses from the General Operating Fund, an increase of $2.8 million over last year. This means the City is able to invest in current and future infrastructure work with less dependency on external funds or incurring debt.
Understanding Your Taxes
The proposed 2.34 per cent mill rate increase includes zero increase to civic operations but allows for the continuation of dedicated mill rates to Mosaic Stadium (0.45 per cent) and the Recreational Infrastructure Program (0.5 per cent) plus added investment in the Regina Police Service (1.39 per cent). For the average home valued at $315,000, this is an increase of $4.13 per month to support and maintain City services.
The chart below illustrates what makes up the mill rate.
|Mill Rate Increase (%)|
|Recreation Infrastructure Program||0.50|
|Regina Police Service||1.39|
|Mill Rate Increase||2.34|
The proposed 2021 Budget and any amendments will be considered at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, March 24 at 1 p.m. with additional discussion on March 25 and 26 if necessary.
Anyone may appear as a special delegation. Information on preparing a submission is available on Regina.ca or contact the Office of the City Clerk at 306-777-7262.
Learn more about how the 2021 Budget uses efficiencies and makes investments to support how we live, move, connect and grow in Regina.
What impact will the tax increase have on the average taxpayer?
For a Regina homeowner with an average assessed home value of $315,000, the proposed mill rate of 2.34 per cent is an increase of $4.13 per month to support and maintain City services.
Why does the City use $315,000 as the average assessed value?
The $315,000 is the assessed value for tax purposes not the market value. It has been adjusted from $350,000 due to the 2021 Revaluation. The assessed value determines the impact of any mill rate increase, so it is more appropriate in this situation.
Why are taxes going up?
The City was able to identify cost savings and efficiencies to achieve a zero percent mill rate increase for its civic operations. The proposed mill rate increase of 2.34 per cent includes two previously approved dedicated mill rates – 0.45 per cent for Mosaic Stadium and 0.5 per cent for the Recreation Infrastructure Program – and the remaining 1.39 per cent supports an increase requested by the Regina Police Service to support community safety.
Taxes paid by residents support the ongoing costs of providing services without compromising the ability of the City to meet the needs of future generations.
How much debt will the City incur in 2021 and for what?
The City has no plans to take on any additional debt in 2021 for the General and Utility Fund. In fact, thanks to funding received in 2020 from the Municipal Economic Enhancement Program (MEEP), $12 million will be directed to completion of Wascana Pool meaning the City will not have to finance this project with debt as originally planned.
However, Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation plans to borrow $60 million in 2021, of which the City’s share of $44.4 million counts against the City’s $450 million debt limit.
How much revenue will the dedicated 0.5 per cent tax increase generate for the Recreation Infrastructure Program each year?
The 0.5 per cent increase will generate an additional $1.3 million in 2021. In 2024, when the dedicated increase ends, the annual funding dedicated to the Recreation Infrastructure Program will be nearly $7 million. This program will be ongoing and assist the City in implementing the Recreational Master Plan.
Is the City cutting any jobs in this Budget?
The net change to full-time equivalent positions (FTEs) in the 2021 Budget is an increase of 9. This results from a reduction of 2 FTEs in Civic Operations offset by an increase of 11 FTEs in Regina Police Services.
What has the City done to reduce expenses in 2021?
Administration has continued its efforts to find efficiencies and reduce costs without impacting services. New savings of $5 million were found for the 2021 Budget. Some examples include:
- Decrease in fuel costs
- Reduction in conference and training budget for 2021
- Adjustments to winter road maintenance to reflect recent snowfall trends; while still enabling service enhancements with realigned funding.
- Efficiencies from analyzing our operations, such as sharing equipment amongst departments and reviewing our leased space requirements.
Why is the Regina Police Service budget increasing?
RPS increase is primarily related to staffing increases and staffing-related costs in accordance with RPS’ strategic growth plan.
What is the City doing to plan for COVID-related expenses and revenue loss?
The City has established a COVID-19 Recovery Reserve to cover COVID-19 related costs and to make up for lost revenues as a result of reduction in use of City services. At the start of 2021 there was approximately $15.9 million available in this reserve. The City has budgeted for a $12 million negative impact of COVID-19 in 2021 on City operations.
The City is planning to replace water meters. When will replacement begin and how much will it cost overall?
The City of Regina’s Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system is reaching the end of its design life. Failure to replace the water meters and meter interface units may result in reduced customer service and estimated water meter reads instead of actual water meter reads. The project to develop, design, construct, and install the AMR system began in 2020. Over the next five years the General Utility Capital Budget includes $35.3 million for this project.