Spending cuts sidelined in budget debate
Thunder Bay council takes detailed look at budget as it looks for savings
Posted: Feb 7, 2013 9:33 AM ET
Last Updated: Feb 7, 2013 9:21 AM ET
A city councillor in Thunder Bay wants to know why the economic development corporation has so much money in the bank — and yet still wants more.
Rebecca Johnson’s query was part of an ongoing debate over the city’s budget at a meeting Wednesday night.
“You've got $380,000 in project funding — why aren't you spending that? That's my question,” Johnson said.
“You've got $460,000 in your operations. And you want an additional … $800,000? Help me with that."
The group said it holds onto money in case it gets requests from new businesses looking to set up in the city, or for special projects. The corporation also said it plans to hire a new staff member, as well as a new CEO.
Johnson went on to ask about making cuts to capital funding for daycare and the fire department. She asked the fire department if they could split the cost of new equipment with other communities.
"Is there some way that we can … save some dollars in the fire department,” she said. “Do you have to have every single thing that you request here? Is it really, really necessary? How can we cut back on this?"
Some of the fire department’s requests included the purchase of a new set of the Jaws of Life, an aerial ladder truck that hasn’t been replaced since 1986, and a new pumper truck.
Johnson’s request received the cold shoulder, as did a request from Coun. Joe Virdiramo, who wanted to freeze rates for swimming lessons and community programs.
"A few minutes ago we were talking about [the economic development corporation] with the hundreds of thousands of dollars and the millions in reserve and whatnot,” he said.
“And, here, we're quibbling about $14,600, which isn't going to be taken away from community and recreational services."
Virdiramo's proposal to open pools earlier in the season was also sidelined.
No changes were made to the proposed budget and council is expected to continue its debate next week.
Latest Thunder Bay News Headlines
- Harper chief of staff resigns amid Senate expense scandal
- Nigel Wright has resigned as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff, following revelations he wrote a $90,000 cheque to repay living expenses claimed by Senator Mike Duffy. more »
- Strike delays elevator service in Thunder Bay
- A province-wide strike is causing longer waits for elevator service in Thunder Bay. Fourteen hundred Ontario members of the International Union of Elevator Constructors workers have been off the job since May 1. more »
- Neskantaga First Nation finds hope after suicide crisis
- Artwork created by young people in Neskantaga First Nation will soon be on display in Toronto as part of an effort to help the community recover from a suicide crisis. more »
- Anglers face shortage of minnows heading into long weekend
- Anglers in the Thunder Bay area may have trouble buying bait minnows this long weekend, because they are in short supply. more »
Top News Headlines
- Search continues for 2 missing New Brunswick fishermen
- Jeep driver apologizes after stunt kills Edmonton woman
- Senior Pakistani politician shot dead
- Virginia parade crash driver likely had medical problem