Sudbury councillors proceeded with caution Tuesday on the question of borrowing money to build more city infrastructure, after city administration said it could get its hands on $84 million.
City councillor Fabio Belli said borrowing money might be the only way to get smoother roads and new water pipes in Greater Sudbury.
'You wanna know why roads weren't fixed in the 1990s? Because there was no money.' —Sudbury Coun. Terry Kett
"We're trying to increase our infrastructure from the $37 million — ideally we should be closer to $100 million, because we're not getting any further ahead," Belli said.
But other councillors warned against taking on more debt.
The city has already borrowed for some major projects such as the biosolids plant and the new transit garage.
City councillor Terry Kett remembered back 20 years, when he was first elected to Sudbury's Regional Council.
"The first thing we found out was that 20 per cent of our revenue that year was used to service our debt," Kett recalled. "So you wanna know why roads weren't fixed in the 1990s? Because there was no money."
An $84 million loan could mean a 3 per cent hike in every property tax bill, council heard.
City council voted to hear options for borrowing money for certain infrastructure projects during municipal budget talks this fall, but made no commitments to take on more debt.