North-South cycling link first casualty of 2020 budget
Coun. Mark Bentz painted a grim picture of the city’s finances, saying council can’t afford to keep building new infrastructure.
“This is another bridge we’re building – we can’t even pay for the bridges we own,” he said. – tbnewswatch
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I remember Mr. Bentz being Chairperson of the Waterfront Development Committee. I am pretty sure that many members of the public used the same argument opposing that development. That was over 10 years ago.
I remember opponents to the proposed $114 million Event Centre using that same argument opposing construction of that facility.
I am sure there are opponents to the proposed $33 million indoor turf facility using the same argument.
I am sure there are opponents to the proposed $33 million waterfront art gallery using the same argument.
The thing is that this cycling bridge, is the only project that City Council has opposed. Sooo, it appears to me that there is some selective cost concern when it comes to building additional city infrastructure.
Sure, when there are are tens of millions of Queens Park and Ottawa dollars available..for free, it is easy to build expensive facilities. What is never mentioned is the cost of maintaining those facilities for many decades. That cost has now come home to roost.
Lets face it. The City of Thunder Bay needs to increase taxes by more than re-election friendly but waaaay too low rates that our elected members of City Hall keep demanding City Administration produce. That is reality. That or cuts to services.
The vast majority of City Budgets is made up of salaries. Right now, City Council is dancing around that fact. Sooner or later, staffing numbers and wages/benefits will have to be addressed..if Council wishes to make any headway tackling the Infrastructure deficit.