After a marathon budget meeting, Windsor city council passed a 1.73 per cent property tax increase for 2017. The initial budget called for a 2.7 per cent jump, but council managed to find about one per cent in savings.

That works out to about $45 for the average household.

It’s the first property tax increase in Windsor in nine years, snapping an eight-year streak of zero tax increases.

Council approved a capital budget, two-thirds of which will be spent on roads and sewers.

The enhanced capital budget saw an additional $10 million allocated on projects across every ward, but not all councillors were happy with the process.

Ward 7 Coun. Irek Kusmierczyk said “What I see here is the furthest thing from equitable.”

He was referring to how the funds were distributed to various councillors. In the end, he still supported the extra spend, noting how important it was for Forest Glade to get a new basketball court.

Coun. Rino Bortolin, however, wouldn’t support the motion. He said process is everything and stood as the lone dissenter.

Some other additions include $30,000 for the continuation of the feral cat program. Council also approved $20,000 towards a rat abatement subsidy.

Council voted to create a new bulk item collection plan  at a cost of $37,000. Residents will be now be able to purchase a voucher for $20 to get curbside large item pick up. Karlene Nielsen of  Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal calls it a step in the right direction.

"I keep pushing the agenda I would really love to see a free pick up,” Nielsen said outside council chambers. “I think that's really where it needs to go to make sure we have the most compliance to see the greatest reduction in dumping. I think that's what we really need to see happen in the end.”