Thunder Bay's new budget includes money for more staffing at the Atlantic Avenue sewage treatment plant so it can be staffed around the clock.


As a result of extensive flooding in May of 2012, there were pump failures and flooding at the Atlantic Avenue Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant in Thunder Bay. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

Six new jobs will be created this year to ensure somebody is on site 24-hours-a-day. Until the devastating flooding last May, there was no one in the plant overnight.

Four operators are already in place, a new supervisor will start in just a few months, and another engineer has been added to the staff.

Mayor Keith Hobbs said it's the only new spending in the budget.

"We have damages to the tune of probably $25 to $30 million and they're going to take a couple years to repair that plant," he said.

"You know, it's like the flood's over but the damage is still there."

'Spending more on capital'


Thunder Bay manager Tim Commisso calls this year's city budget is 'bare-bones.' (Jeff Walters/CBC)

City Manager Tim Commisso said the city is doing what it can to keep the tax rate low, but there is some necessary spending on sewer and water.

"It's a pretty bare-bones budget," he said.

"There's not a lot of change, with the exception we are spending more money on capital, infrastructure renewal and roads. And, this year, we've also bumped up our spending on storm water management."

Despite that, Commisso noted the overall focus for the budget is to find savings in city operations.

"We have actually budgeted though for another $1.5 million in savings," he said. "I'll move quickly to look at that over the next few months."

Council will kick off its budget deliberations this week. Final approval — including a tax hike that's currently projected at 2.5 per cent — will come next month.