Greater Sudbury considers paying for infrastructure projects through debt financing

The city of Greater Sudbury is taking a close look at borrowing money to pay for infrastructure projects.

Sudbury is in a favourable position to take on more debt, council hears

There's no question, Sudbury's infrastructure needs an upgrade. From pot holes to aging water pipes, the city has a number of structural issues it needs to address. But, those projects cost a lot of money, so the city may turn to debt financing to get the work done. (Jason Turnbull/CBC)
Financial risk or a golden opportunity? The city of Greater Sudbury is considering debt financing to pay for infrastructure projects. The chair of the city's finance committee Mike Jakubo explained why it may be a good time to borrow. 7:08

The city of Greater Sudbury is taking a close look at borrowing money to pay for infrastructure projects.

Council received a report Wednesday about the idea of debt financing. They were told the city is in a favourable position to take on more debt.
The city's general manager of infrastructure services Tony Cecutti. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

Infrastructure Services Manager Tony Cecutti said now is the right time to fix roads and water mains.

"If we invested money in them now, we would preserve them for a longer life cycle," he said.

"But if we wait a little bit longer, they have to be entirely replaced at significantly more money. So what debt financing can do is allow you to spend the right money at the right time."

City staff are preparing another report on debt financing that would list infrastructure projects in order of priority and shovel readiness.

Why is Sudbury considering debt financing now? With interest rates at a historic low, and with the federal government rolling out a $60 billion infrastructure project in the next few months, Sudbury could put in an application to work with the federal and provincial governments to fund infrastructure projects. The federal government is calling for shovel ready projects and Sudbury is putting together a list of those. (Getty Images)

with files from Olivia Stefanovich


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