Halifax council discusses increases to transportation and public works budget
More money eyed for snow clearing, Otter Lake landfill contract and road paving
Halifax council discussed proposed increases to next year's transportation and public works budget today — but not all councillors are satisfied.
If the 2016-2017 budget proposal is approved, there will be $5 million more for winter snow clearing, another $2 million to cover the new Otter Lake landfill contract and $5 million more for road paving.
When reserves and cuts to other programs are factored in, city staff are proposing an increase of $9.2 million over the 2014-15 budget.
As far as snow clearing costs go, it's an increase over what was budgeted, but not what was actually spent.
"One of the things we did by moving to new contracts is put a cap on that, so we have more confidence in our ability to control it within our budget," said Bruce Zvaniga, the new director of the department.
Coun. Bill Karsten was looking for an expansion of the weekly green cart pickup into the month of September.
"It's time has come," Karsten said. "Regional council indicated that in September."
Coun. Steve Adams also asked for weekly pickup of blue bags in rural and suburban areas of the Halifax region.
The two requests would add another $1.7 million to the department's budget.
"We have to hold the line on taxes," Mayor Mike Savage said. "Doesn't mean I'm opposed, but if we do it, it has to come from somewhere else."
A final vote on next year's budget is expected in early March.