Budget 2012 – “A realistic and responsible plan that deals with the critical need to reduce our infrastructure gap” – City Manager

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Tim CommissoTHUNDER BAY – City of Thunder Bay Administration will be submitting the proposed 2012 Budget today in advance of the detailed review and approval by City Council. “Overall the proposed budget achieves Council’s direction and I’m very pleased that we are able to table a realistic and responsible plan that deals with the critical need to reduce our infrastructure gap,” said Tim Commisso, City Manager. “This budget also includes a new tax relief measure approved by Council, and recognizes the need for restraint and investing in the future of the City”.

The proposed budget also includes some priority service enhancements and improvements. The overall increase includes the budget approved by the Police Services Board which was seeking increases to the budget for Police Services. Police Chief Lesveque stated, “The 2012 base Operating Budget reflects the following changes in the four key areas of the budget: a. Personnel Services – three point one percent ( 3.1 %) increase; b. Purchased Services – four point five percent (4.5 %) increase; c. Materials & Supplies – thirty three point two percent (33.2 %) increase; and d. Revenues – seven point four percent (7.4 %) increase”.

The overall city budget includes an additional 24/7 Ambulance for Superior North EMS, and the implementation of a Fire Strategic Plan. Further funding is needed for operation of new public facilities at Prince Arthurs Landing. There is also a request for increased resources to support the City’s Aboriginal Liaison office and community partners. Also built in is $1.5 million in savings related to the City Manager’s Corporate Review Process.

The Budget is within Council’s 2012 Budget Directions including:

· A proposed municipal tax rate increase of 1.48 per cent, which is also below the current inflation level in Thunder Bay. The municipal tax rate change excludes the impact that property reassessment has on properties which is not within the control of City Council. The total residential tax rate increase, including municipal and education tax rates, is slightly lower at 0.8 per cent.

· A proposed tax increase for the average residential home of 2.67 per cent after factoring in the impact of property valuation changes occurring as a result of property reassessment.

· An increase of $3.3 million in much needed City Infrastructure spending including $2.5 million in dedicated Enhanced Infrastructure Renewal Funding (EIRF). The City is on track for an increase in capital spending on roads by $6 million per year by 2014.

“Administration worked diligently to prepare a balanced budget and despite many spending pressures, it reflects a proposed, fiscally responsible tax increase and we look forward to working closely with Council throughout the upcoming budget deliberations,” said Carol Busch, City Treasurer & General Manager – Finance & Corporate Services.

For more information and 2012 Key Budget dates visit: www.thunderbay.ca/budget

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