Roads or amenities? Councillors debate Sudbury's finances with $2M shortfall looming

Any extra resources the city has should be directed into road maintenance, said Sudbury councillor Robert Kirwan.

With talk of a new arts venue and arena, some councillors are suggesting city focus on infrastructure first

Sudbury city councillor Robert Kirwan said there is the potential for 'a tug of war' between funding for roads against funding for arenas. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)
Greater Sudbury city councillors are feeling the pressure to catch up on road work. The issue came up at the latest operations committee meeting. We have some of the discussion as councillors weigh their options. 5:01

Any extra resources the city has should be directed into road maintenance, said Sudbury councillor Robert Kirwan.

The directive came from his constituents, who feel that upkeep of the city's roads should be a priority, despite a $2 million shortfall in this year's budget.

But the deficit hasn't dampened enthusiasm for two proposed projects— the Place des Arts and a new arena — which have been a central part of city hall's recent conversations.

"I guess as we're going into budget, I know we're going to have this tug of war between, 'Do we put the money in road repair,' or 'Do we put the money into other amenities, like art galleries and arenas?'" Kirwan said.

Councillor Lynne Reynolds thinks the city isn't getting ahead with what she considers to be band-aid solutions to maintaining the city's infrastructure.

She said the city should consider a different approach.

"I believe that a debt management program coupled with a long-term financing plan for the city is the only thing that is going to get us ahead," Reynolds said.

Councillors will discuss the city's budget at a finance meeting Tuesday afternoon, and the budget is expected to be deliberated in the coming months.

With files from Olivia Stefanovich. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges


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