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City spreads $4.5-million contribution for Guelph General expansion and renovations over six years

Will see a new levy added to the tax-supported budget of $750,000 for each of the next six years
20181204 Guelph General Hospital Sign KA
Guelph General Hospital. GuelphToday file photo

Guelph City Council has chosen to spread a $4.5 million budget ask by the Guelph General Hospital over the next six years.

The decision will see a special $750,000 levy added to the tax-supported budget for each of those six years.

The money is the city’s contribution to a $45-million expansion to the hospital’s emergency department and other renovations and upgrades.

The decision came early in Tuesday’s final 2020 budget deliberations.

The day began with council looking at a 3.08 per cent property tax increase for 2020, with other potential add-ons to come during what will likely be a budget meeting that goes well into Wednesday evening.

Councillor June Hofland had moved that the $4.5 million be spread over five years, but coun. Christine Billings amended that motion to add one more year.

“It lessens the impact (on taxpayers)” and the hospital chief financial officer told council that six years was “acceptable,” Billings said.

Coun. Mark MacKinnon tried to have equipment costs removed from the city’s contribution, but his move was defeated by a 12-1 vote.