THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – The City of Thunder Bay is headed to set the 2022 budget.
The proposed 2022 Municipal Budget forms the starting point for City Council’s detailed review. This year’s budget provides an increase in the municipal tax levy after growth of $4.7 million or 2.29%. The impact of COVID-19 is excluded from the levy and is proposed to be funded by the Stabilization reserve fund.
“This budget identifies the impact of implementing initiatives from the Program and Services Review including the Digital Strategy and Employee Recruitment strategy, along with service level changes in Licensing & Enforcement, Superior North EMS and Long Term Care. Additional staff positions are included with the majority being funded by the province,” said Norm Gale, City Manager. “I thank the leaders in City Administration and the Finance team for their great work navigating and reporting on the continued impact of COVID-19.”
“As directed by Council, a $1 million increase to the tax supported capital budget is proposed, reflecting a focus on addressing the infrastructure funding gap,” said Linda Evans, General Manager – Corporate Services & Long-Term Care, and City Treasurer. “Additional funding through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) and savings through implementation of the Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Master Plan assisted in offsetting inflationary and other externally driven cost increases.”
2022 Key Budget Drivers
Increases to the tax levy include:
- Increases for Police Services | $1.6 million
- Capital financed by the tax levy | $1.0 million
- Expansions including Licensing & Enforcement, Parks (Pool 6) and Superior North EMS | $1.0 million
- Program and Services Review implementation including HR Recruitment, Digital Strategy and Municipal Recycling Program | $0.5 million
- Insurance premiums | $0.5 million
- Outside Boards | $0.3 million
- Police Services Board | $0.2 million
Reductions to the tax levy include:
- Tax write-offs, insurance claims and legal fees reduction based on recent trend analysis | $1.3 million
- Increased Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund allocation | $0.8 million
- Reduced Thunder Bay Fire Rescue staffing costs in accordance with the Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Master Plan | $0.6 million
- Debenture interest | $0.4 million
- User fee increases | $0.3 million
The proposed 2022 Capital financed by the tax levy budget of $17.4 million represents an increase of $1 million over 2021 levels increasing the investment in infrastructure renewal. The estimated impact of COVID-19 in 2022 is $7 million.
View the proposed 2022 Municipal Budget online at www.thunderbay.ca/budget.
The public is invited to get involved and give feedback to City Council on the proposed budget. An online survey is available Jan. 4 – Feb. 3, at www.thunderbay.ca/GetInvolved. Feedback can also be provided in hard copy through the Budget Community Handbook available on the City website, from the Waverley and Brodie branches of the Thunder Bay Public Library, or from City Hall.
There are two opportunities during the budget process for the public to make a deputation to City Council on Jan. 13 and Feb 3. Both meetings will start at 6:30 pm and will be virtual via MS Teams. There are four options for providing a deputation: by videoconference, by telephone, through the City Hall lobby kiosk, or by sending a letter to Council. All deputations must be scheduled in advance, walk-in deputations will not be permitted. Deputation requests can be made by emailingOfficeoftheCityClerk@thunderbay.ca or by completing the online “Speak Before Council” form.
– For Jan. 13 deputations, requests must be received no later than noon on Jan. 10.
– For Feb. 3 deputations, requests must be received no later than 4:30 pm on Jan. 28.
For more deputation information contact the Office of the City Clerk at 625-2230 or visit the City website.
Council’s budget reviews will take place on Jan. 18, 20, 26, and Feb. 1, beginning at 5 pm, with approval expected on Feb. 7. Learn more at www.thunderbay.ca/budget.