THUNDER BAY – There is a full agenda at City Council tonight. Council will have a presentation from Shelter House on the Drug Strategy Committee.
At the October 17, 2011 Committee of the Whole meeting a resolution was carried recommending that City Council provide Shelter House Thunder Bay with a one-time capital grant of $270,400 towards renovations of 400 George Street to accommodate the Shelter House Provisional Housing Project and Alcohol Management Program, and that Administration report back to Committee of the Whole on the status of the program, one year after its operation.
The program operated under Shelter House has been a reported success, and the planning is to move the program forward.
Planning for Whalen Building
Council will also receive a report from Administration on the Whalen Building on Cumberland in the downtown north core business core. Report No. 2013.084 (Realty Services) recommending that in keeping with the City’s strategy to redevelop the James Whalen Building to facilitate employment growth in key economic sectors, Administration should be authorized to proceed with the next phase of the Whalen Building ICT and Target Sector Project.
The Tourism Division is reported to want to move into the Whalen Building. It will be up to Council to decide if this prime piece of real estate that first housed the DSSAB should stay with a municipal purpose or if it should be opened up to potential private sector use.
Budget Variance Report
Administration will also report on the budget and areas of the budget where there is a projected variance.
Council will hear that “As at March 31, 2013, Administration is projecting no overall significant variance for tax supported general municipal operations on the total net budget of $213,314,300.
“Although the overall variance is not significant, Administration provides the following information related to two specific areas.
“Superior North EMS is projecting a $500,000 unfavourable gross budget variance related to maintaining service in 2013 under increasing pressure. Paramedic replacement costs, the provision of non-urgent transportation, and EMS off-load delays are the main pressure points in an environment of ever increasing public demand. There is also uncertainty as to revenue from the Province as the funding has yet to be confirmed.
Legal Services is reporting a proposed year-end unfavourable variance of $400,000 as a result of retaining external counsel to address unforeseen litigation commenced against the City. Included in this projected variance are also increased legal costs for more complex litigation and unanticipated delays in the judicial process.
“Infrastructure & Operations department is projecting a $1,300,000 unfavourable variance for winter control due to the unseasonably late snow events in 2013. The budget is based on a five-year average requirement and any surpluses and deficits are to be funded by the Winter Roads Maintenance Reserve Fund. There are sufficient funds available in the Reserve Fund to absorb the projected unfavourable variance”.