Daycare may be dropped from Sudbury budget
Summer camps, playground programs, trailer parks and fitness centres could also be dumped
Sudbury city councillors are wrestling with the big question of what businesses the city should be in — and some don't think fitness centres and daycare should be on the list.
At a meeting Monday night, councillors looked at the cost of some public services, which many don't even know are paid for with tax dollars.
Greater Sudbury's five city-run fitness centres lost $376,000 this year — and the gym in Falconbridge alone cost taxpayers $121,000.
For most councillors, that’s financial flab the city needs to shed.
"You and I subsidize those," said Coun. Terry Kett.
"What are they, five people a day that go to the place? $121,000 — that is unbelievable. Close ‘em down, privatize them, something, because that's just not right."
Councillors also looked at the city's summer camps, playground programs and trailer parks, as well as the 120-space city-run daycare centre.
The Junior Citizens Daycare centre, which the city has run for the past 40 years, currently costs taxpayers about $129,000 a year.
"That boggles my mind," Coun. Joe Cimino said.
"When there's people unemployed, when there's people talking about zero per cent wage increases for who-knows-how-many years, when property taxes are going beyond the reach of many … we have 80,000 ratepayers subsidizing a few people."
Coun. Ron Dupuis said they were "tough decisions, but it's those that we will have to make eventually."
But those decisions were not made Monday night, as councillors instead asked staff to report back in the new year about what options the city has when it comes to these sideline services.