THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – The proposed 2017 Municipal Budget documents prepared by City Administration were released and form the starting point for City Council’s detailed review.
“This proposed Budget addresses several key areas in the City’s finances,” said Norm Gale, City Manager. “These include increased contributions to our reserve funds, stabilization of budgets for Legal and Police Services, consistent funding for capital and infrastructure projects and reductions in the operating budgets.”
If the proposed 2017 Budget were approved as presented, an increase in the net tax levy after growth would be $5.5 million or 3.07 per cent.
“While the proposed Budget meets Council’s direction to Administration, it is important to note that the proposed budget is a starting point,” said Councillor Frank Pullia, Chair – Administrative Services.
“Changes may result as the pubic provides input and as Council deliberates during the detailed review to find permanent savings in the operating budget, while dealing with ongoing cost escalations.”
Major Factors over and above the inflationary increases impacting the proposed 2017 Budget include:
- Stabilization Measures including legal fees, insurance claims, golf, early leave and reduced reliance on reserve funds – $2.3 million
- Reserve Fund contributions including legal, insurance, WSIB, Renew Thunder Bay and removal of prior year one-time contributions – $1.3 million
- Debenture payment (capital projects) increase – $0.9 million
- Increases to the Thunder Bay Police Services to address overtime, staffing and other costs – $1.1 million
- Expansions to programs including Roads Quality Objectives, Active Transportation Maintenance and Solid Waste – $0.7 million
- Increases related to energy costs, snow removal, and a reduction to Child Care revenue – $0.8 million
- These major drivers have been offset by reductions made to Operations through a City Manager’s review process totaling $2.2 million, as well as insurance premium reduction of $0.6 million, resulting in total savings of $2.8 million.
The proposed 2017 Net Capital budget of $15.9 million is consistent with 2016 levels.
A Public Pre-Budget Deputation Meeting will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 pm, at City Hall in Council Chambers. Council’s Budget Reviews will take place on Feb. 2, 7, 9 & 15 with approval expected on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The proposed 2017 Capital and Operating Budgets and Community Handbook are now available online at thunderbay.ca/budget and at the Waverley and Brodie Library branches.