Thunder Bay – Cycling Link First Casualty Of 2020 Budget

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

read full article here

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.

 

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2 Responses

  1. responsibleone
    responsibleone at | | Reply

    There is approx 2300 city employees all getting wage increases yearly, a substantial benefit package, retired employees all getting the same. When times are tough and getting tougher for the foreseeable future this city continues to run headlong into the black hole and continues to spends money like there is no tomorrow and continues to plan new infrastructure/good time projects.

    City management obviously doesn’t give two shits about the taxpayers. City council are just the puppets made to appease the masses and make it seem like citizens have some form of say over the matters at hand. If this city really has over 200 MILLION in debt and wants to go deeper someone needs to be FIRED and FAST. Like Bentz said “we can’t afford it”. At least he had the balls to say it on that issue we faced. Now he can say the same about the turf facility and art gallery. Nice to have when times are good but times are not good now.

    When times get tough a business/corporation does not go farther and farther and farther in debt when government dollars dry up. They lay off and stop spending needlessly. This city continues to believe vast amounts of dollars will come our way and everything will be roses and rainbows. Time to tighten the belt an extra notch or two. It doesn’t have to be forever. Be responsible. Taxpayers will remember.

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