Thunder Bay city council to ponder tap water, snow plowing requests

City councillors in Thunder Bay will start off their fall session with a fairly heavy agenda Monday night.

Cost savings for city-run child care centres also on tap

City councillors in Thunder Bay will hear administration's plan to add sodium hydroxide to the city's water supply later this year. (CBC)

City councillors in Thunder Bay will start off their fall session with a fairly heavy agenda Monday night.

Council will entertain a notice of motion presented by Councillor Shelby Ch'ng, to plow snow on residential and side streets after 5 cm has fallen, instead of the current 10 cm cumulative limit.

Currently, city policy is that only arterial roads are plowed after 5 cm of snowfall.

Ch'ng said an incident last year got her thinking about changing the plowing standards.

"It's where an elderly woman who was trying to cross the street to get to church fell and broke her nose," she said. "It was during a time when the snowplows haven't gone by yet, and I just don't think this is working."

Council will have to consider the request, which would add under a million dollars to the annual budget, but Ch'ng would not specify exactly how much the change will be.

Tap water

Council will also consider a report from administration recommending the entire city have sodium hydroxide added to the municipal water supply.

The city undertook a pilot test from January 2015 until early this year. The test showed that the addition of the chemical into the water system in the Current River area lowered the amount of lead at the faucet.

Administration proposed the chemical be added to the city's water supply later this year, after a final public consultation. That would cost the city $264,000 a year.

Child Care

The city is also looking at changing how it manages its child care centres, with three options presented to council.

Administration has been examining how the service is provided since 2015. The goal is to lower the cost of the service, which currently runs at $720,000 a year.

One option is the status quo, another is to relocate the Algoma Child Care Centre to a school site, with the third option would see the Algoma and Grace Remus Child Care Centres amalgamated, and moved to a school.

The savings could run anywhere from $116,000 to $142,100.


The Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) will ask council to lend its support for a study on locating a ferrochrome processor in the city.

The CEDC wants to complete a study that would highlight what is needed to get the plant built in the city, including land availability, utilities, and also needs like education and the labour market.

The support from council is needed to get provincial funding to pay for the study.

The hope is the province's Northern Communities Investment Readiness program would pay for some of the study.

The ferrochrome processor would be owned and operated by Noront Resources, and would convert chromite ore from the Ring of Fire area into chromite, to be used in stainless steel production.