Tim Commisso

Thunder Bay city manager Tim Commisso says council needs to stay the course with infrastructure spending (CBC)

A report going to Thunder Bay city council tonight will outline the importance of spending over $15 million on major capital projects next year.

The city has a strategy for improving roads, bridges, sidewalks and other infrastructure — and city manager Tim Commisso says council needs to stay on track with its funding commitments.

But doing all the improvements could force a slight increase in property taxes.

"If there is going to be a tax increase, we want to make sure that a … considerable component of that is going into infrastructure renewal,” Commisso said. “And, that has been the case."

Commisso noted that an expanding tax base, due to new construction in Thunder Bay, should help keep any increase to a minimum.

The report is being presented for information tonight and the recommendations will be considered by council at a meeting next month.

It also recommends creating the new position of Corporate Project Manager at a cost of about $130,000 a year for three years. Administration says it could be filled internally through a secondment. According to the report, the ability for a dedicated staff person to focus on project management, as was the case with the Waterfront Project, is a key factor in the successful completion of projects.

For updates during Monday’s council meeting, follow CBC News Thunder Bay reporter, Jeff Walters, on Twitter:  @jeffwalterscbc.