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2023 Budget Passed

By Adam Riley Feb 7, 2023 | 4:33 PM

It took a few hours and some debate but Thunder Bay’s 2023 city budget has been passed.

Some of those discussions however managed to get the tax levy down to 5.01% before growth and 4.41% after growth, marking the largest increase in 5 years.

In physical dollars this rate equates to an increase of 71 dollars per 100 thousand dollars in assessed value of a home.

In his remarks before the final vote Finance Chair Mark Bentz commended council and staff for the efforts made over the past month.

However he did have a worried prediction for future budgets.

“I’m somewhat conflicted, because what this budget signals is a, I think its going to be a continued reallocation of municipal dollars to emergency services.”

Bentz adds those levies for outside organizations are non-negotiable, and is asking those organizations to examine their budgets as closely as the city did with its own budget.

Meanwhile Mayor Ken Boshcoff says he is disappointed in himself, early on in the budget process he wanted to see a 2% increase overall, but despite its passage, Boshcoff says he doesn’t intend to give up yet.

“I will be working all year to try and convey the message we have to get this lower.”

As part of the budget, some projects are now slated to continue or move into the next phase of development.

One of those projects is the Vickers – Carrick Street multi use trail bridge, an effort however was made to have its design costs deferred until next year.

Some on council refused to allow the project to be deferred once again including Councillor Shelby Ch’ng who noted the carbon tax has given the province almost $3 billion in extra funding.

“Its the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks that are looking to spend these funds on green infrastructure. If we miss the opportunity again to apply for things in the future because we’re just simply not ready, I don’t know what else I can tell the active transportation community.”

City documents show this year $171,000 will be allocated for that project, with a further$2.5 million set for 2024.

The budget passed with a majority of council in support, save for Councillor Trevor Giertuga who lost connection to the meeting earlier in the evening and was unable to reconnect. As well a technical issue on the audio feed from Council chambers did not verbally broadcast Councillor Casey Etrini’s vote.


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