Halifax council discusses increases to transportation and public works budget

Halifax council discussed proposed increases to next year's transportation and public works budget today — but not all councillors are satisfied.

More money eyed for snow clearing, Otter Lake landfill contract and road paving

If next year's transportation and public works budget is approved, there would $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. (CBC)

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.

Weekly pickups

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.

About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.