Thunder Bay Council Approves 2024 Budget with Tight Vote, Increases for Police, Trails
Thunder Bay – The 2024 budget for Thunder Bay was approved in principle by city council Wednesday, with just one final vote needed to make it official. The budget includes a 5.48% increase in the municipal tax levy, after initial projections of a 5.93% increase.
Balancing Finances with Community Needs
While Brian Hamilton feels that Council and Administration could have done more to reduce taxpayer burden, others like budget chair Councillor Mark Bentz emphasized the need to balance financial restraint with community needs.
The council debated and voted on various amendments, including:
- Police Budget Increase: Thunder Bay Police received a $250,000 budget increase, despite opposition from councillors Bentz and Agarwal.
- Saturday Bus Service: A request to restore an $18,000 cut to Saturday bus service in Neebing was defeated.
- Marina Parking Fees: A proposal to introduce parking fees at the Marina was also rejected.
- Golf Course Fees: A motion to increase adult golf user fees was deferred for further discussion.
Other Budget Highlights:
- The Community Safety and Well-Being budget will see an incremental increase of $250,000 starting in 2025.
- The recreational trails budget was increased by $85,500.
- A $150,000 contribution to the Renew Thunder Bay Reserve Fund was removed.
Final Vote on Monday:
The final vote on the 2024 budget is scheduled for Monday, February 12th. This approval will mark the official adoption of the budget, outlining the city’s spending plans for the year.
NetNewsLedger.com will continue to provide updates on the budget and other municipal news.