Thunder Bay city councillors had a hard time keeping their eyes off the pavement at its Tuesday night meeting.

Most agreed on one key piece of Thunder Bay's infrastructure that needs more money: roads. And they’ve already agreed to slight tax increases for the next few years to help pay for it.

Coun. Andrew Foulds said it's difficult to take the focus off of pavement.

"When people talk about infrastructure, they often talk about just roads and sewer and pipes," he said. "But infrastructure is often more than that. It's certainly all the buildings that the municipality has."

Foulds said he wants to see a higher priority placed on parks.


At a meeting Tuesday night, Thunder Bay manager Tim Commisso considers recommendations from council about spending priorities. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

'It takes time and effort'

City manager Tim Commisso said the city will tweak its priorities.

He said administration will start to look at how to find dollars and put priorities on projects like the Junot-Golf Links and the Waterloo-Balmoral corridor.

"It's a challenge, but we're ramping up our spending and we're trying to do that by finding savings in our operating budget, which we are doing," he said.

"So, and I believe that if we can do it incrementally, that eventually we'll get there. But it takes time and effort."

Being able to incrementally increase taxes — as council has already agreed — will help create a stable pot of money to pay for long-term projects, he added.

Coun. Iain Angus recommended development charges for new subdivisions to pay for parks and trees.

Commisso said It's done in other communities; some places have fees as high as $100,000.

Lots of councillors noted they want to hear more about infrastructure upgrades needed because of the flood in May — and how to make sure another major flood doesn't happen again.