A digital city corridor assembly was held to permit members of the general public to ask questions of metropolis administration concerning the proposed 2021 metropolis funds
THUNDER BAY – From how town will cowl bills associated to the COVID-19 pandemic, the transportation grasp plan, the indoor turf facility, to free fare transit, the folks of Thunder Bay posed their inquiries to metropolis administration on the upcoming 2021 metropolis funds.
A digital city corridor assembly was held Wednesday night the place a quick overview of the upcoming funds was introduced and questions from the general public had been addressed.
The 2021 funds features a tax supported infrastructure deficit estimated to be $21.7 million yearly, whereas the speed supported infrastructure deficit is estimated at $7.6 million yearly.
The funds additionally features a two per cent tax levy improve however bills associated to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic usually are not factored into that improve.
“The one time prices related to COVID have been excluded from the levy,” mentioned Coun. Mark Bentz. “To be included within the levy it will be fairly the numerous improve, round six per cent.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to end in a $9.2 million shortfall for town and Bentz mentioned town shall be seeking to reserves and different sources to mitigate that shortfall and misplaced revenues.
“COVID remains to be with us and it’s worsening in the meanwhile,” Bentz mentioned. “We don’t know what the longer term appears to be like like. There could possibly be sure implications on our funds that we can’t predict however seemingly our revenues shall be decreased. We’re additionally experiencing prices. Placing these two issues collectively is the place we give you the $9.2 million estimate.”
A query was submitted to the city corridor asking if the cash earmarked for the multi-use indoor turf facility could possibly be used to cowl the shortfall attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The quick reply is sure, however council makes selections and we feature on with that,” metropolis supervisor Norm Gale mentioned.
“Council has resolved to make use of that funding in the direction of the challenge. It’s as much as council to make any determination they usually may change it however at this level the decision has been handed to make use of that funding for the turf facility.”
A number of different questions had been introduced ahead with different price saving options to assist mitigate the price of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One particular person requested if cash could possibly be saved by shedding workers on the Thunder Bay Police Service and Thunder Bay Fireplace Rescue in two-week intervals with out pay.
“We’re deemed as an important service,” mentioned Thunder Bay Police Service chief Sylvie Hauth. “We’d like all our workers. We reply to roughly 54,000 requires service a 12 months and we’ve collective agreements that dictate what we have to do as a board.”
Newly appointed Thunder Bay Fireplace Rescue chief Greg Hankkio echoed Hauth’s response, saying the collective settlement language doesn’t allow these sorts of short-term layoffs.
Different questions associated to metropolis providers, together with the transportation grasp plan and lively transportation plan, and metropolis transit.
A member of the neighborhood mentioned the goal completion date of town’s transportation plan and lively transportation is` 2038 and requested if town is to appreciate these plans, ought to it not be begin spending more cash.
Kayla Dixon, director of engineering and operations with town, mentioned that to ensure that town to implement the plans it’s required to take a position roughly $3 million per 12 months. In 2020, it invested $3.9 million.
“Along with the capital funding town continues to help programming to encourage folks to be lively,” she mentioned, including packages equivalent to Secure Biking Thunder Bay and the short-term closure of the south sure lane on the Cumberland Avenue Bridge whereas the Boulevard Rattling pedestrian bridge is present process rehabilitation.
The opportunity of introducing free fare transit was additionally introduced ahead, with one particular person saying these dwelling in poverty depend on public transportation to journey to important providers, however the price of transit is usually a barrier.
Pascal Gauvreau, appearing supervisor for transit providers with town mentioned person charges account for roughly 35 per cent of the transit providers funds.
“By offering free transit, we remove 35 per cent of our funds, which equates to $7 million,” he mentioned. “We must cut back our service by 35 per cent to function within the new funds, or improve property taxes, which is 3.5 per cent. It will be powerful to do a fare free transit.”
The general public remains to be invited to submit their ideas on the 2021 funds. A survey is on the market on-line till Nov. 25. Residents may also be given a possibility to current deputations to metropolis council on the funds in January. For extra data, go to the city of Thunder Bay web site.