Sudbury city councillors are heralding the city’s 2013 budget as a plan that will look after Sudbury roads, even though only a fraction of the $500 million in spending is going toward this particular infrastructure.

Council turned down other proposals and ignored constant cries for lower taxes in order to spend an extra $1 million on roadwork — even though it only buys a few kilometres of new pavement.

"You look at the emphasis this council put on roads, just with our own money," said councillor and budget chief Terry Kett.

"Without federal government money, without provincial government [money], we're getting close to $40 million."

But city staff said Greater Sudbury streets really need about $70 million dollars worth of work next year.


Sudbury roads director David Shelsted says staff members are just trying to keep up with road work needed across the city. Even if they had extra money for repairs, there would still be roads that need work. (City of Greater Sudbury)

"That's a challenge for the department and that's a challenge for all government departments," said roads director David Shelsted.

"Private business works the same way. Everybody's trying to deliver more for less."

Shelsted said the city will be doing more road patches in 2013, with the aim to fix up pothole-prone areas, before the entire road needs to be rebuilt.

"To tell you the truth, the roadway network will never be perfect," he said.

"Assets deteriorate the minute they're built."

Sudburians will be paying more in 2013, with the average bill for property taxes, plus water and sewer, set to go up by about $120.

Council was expected to pass the 2013 budget at its Tuesday night meeting.