This is one of those bad news press releases that always happen on the Friday of a long weekend or some other day that nobody is paying attemtoon…like Christmas.
Basically, the City of Thunder Bay is screwed. The city is too large for its tax base to maintain… At least at the existing service levels. Something has to give eventually. Residents do not have unlimited cash reserves.
What makes matters worse is the quality of work being done on the infrastructure that is being repaired/replaced is so poor. Millions of tax dollars are being spent with little to show for it. Things look nice for a year or two and then it all starts to fall apart….needing more money for repairs
REPORT CARD GOVES CITY INFRASTRUCTIRE “C” GRADE
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
THUNDER BAY — It would cost every household in Thunder Bay $59,301 to replace the city’s infrastructure.
With $3 billion in assets, infrastructure in Thunder Bay is getting a C overall in a report to city council that outlines a $17 million infrastructure deficit and recommendations on how to close the gap.
The report card outlines eight major asset categories from roads to the city’s fleet. It would cost $561 million to replace the city’s roads alone. The network got a C for condition with 91 per cent in fair condition. It’s funding though is at a D, with historic spending at 45 per cent of what’s needed to maintain the system.
City sidewalks appear to be the most in need as over 70 per cent are in poor or critical condition with only 27 per cent being spent on what’s needed.
The report recommends that council continue making increases to its Enhanced Infrastructure Renewal Plan, which was $2.5 million last budget season, every year for the next 11 years while also taking on $6.97 million in debt annually.
With a $1 million deficit for water distribution, after the 4.2 per cent increase last year it’s recommended the increases slow down until 2.5 per cent in 2027. That’s assuming a $58.4 million debt issued over a dozen years.
Sewers show a $5 million deficit. That would also take on $42.8 million in debt over 11 years and then $1 million every year after while also increasing revenue through internally developed cash flows the report states.
Administration says while debt increases the cost of a project, it also spreads that cost out for future users and gets full funding more quickly.
Cause I’m the taxman
Yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me… -Taxman, The Beatles