Regina’s budget for 2022 will be released at the end of November, but residents had the opportunity to share which areas are a priority for them in the municipal budget last summer.
The results come from the 2022 pre-budget consultation, which was conducted from July 14 to August 6 with more than 1,300 Regina citizens participating in the survey.
Highway construction and repair returned to the top of the priority ranking list with 73% of respondents placing it among their top three spending priorities.
Second was public safety, crime and the police, which saw 67 percent of those surveyed say they were in the top three.
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Recreational and cultural facilities ranked third at 48 percent, replacing snow removal that ranked third overall in last year’s public budget query.
The city said 57 percent of those surveyed indicated that maintaining or increasing capital spending remains a top consideration when city council makes decisions. About 55 percent believe that reducing residential property taxes is another priority for the council to consider.
When it comes to new and emerging priorities, the city shared that 54 percent of pollsters ranked investments in community-based safety and wellness initiatives within their top three. Another 46 percent prioritized economic development incentives, followed by investments to address homelessness at 45 percent.
“We value the feedback we have received from Regina residents as we build the city’s budget,” said Barry Lacey, who serves as Regina’s executive director of financial strategy and sustainability.
“Understanding what is most important to residents is an integral part of budget planning as we make decisions about how to affordably maintain or improve services and invest in resident and council priorities.”
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An update of the city’s budget for 2022 will be presented to the executive committee at Wednesday’s meeting.
Once the budget is released, the council is expected to review it on December 15.
The city will then switch to a multi-year budgeting system for 2023-2024, which officials say will “make it easier to determine longer-term budget impacts and reduce administrative expenses associated with preparing the annual budget.”
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