City Council cancels debate on $ 7.17 million impacts of budget 2022 across the board
During today’s finance and administration meeting, Greater Sudbury City Council approved sending the 25 business cases presented to the 2022 Budget deliberations
There is plenty of room for debate, but Greater Sudbury City Council chose not to do so today, sending the 25 business cases presented in committee to the 2022 Budget deliberations.
Today’s finance and administration committee meeting was intended to serve as an early ‘checkpoint’ on business cases to see if they are worth including in the 2022 draft budget documents. , which will be discussed in a series of meetings starting on November 29.
Thus describes the president of the committee and the municipal council of the 7th district. Mike Jakubo opening the afternoon meeting, where 25 business cases totaling $ 7.17 million in potential impacts on the 2022 budget were discussed.
The $ 7.17 million price tag is paltry relative to actual financial demand, with some budget items relying on proposed debt financing paid over several years to make this a reality.
A dual-surface multi-use sports complex proposed for Hanmer is one such project and would have a total cost of $ 29.2 million, including a 2022 budget impact of $ 584,520.
“It will be difficult to change my mind that many of these business cases should not be approved as we go along,” Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer said at the start of the meeting, after prompting the city’s director of financial planning and budgeting, Steve Facey, to describe some financial realities.
“Some of the business cases are suggested will be funded or need to be funded through debt financing… and we already have approximately $ 100 million in debt that has not been guaranteed,” Sizer said – a point supported by Facey.
There was $ 43 million of road and bridge works included in the 2020 and 2021 capital budgets with unsecured debt, as well as $ 55 million for the Pioneer Manor redevelopment project.
Further, Sizer said, “Our reserves are precariously low, so funding one-off initiatives from our reserves while that fixes this problem for that year, it certainly puts us in a more precarious position if we have any kind. major disaster or problem in our community.
This is also a point that Facey corroborated, noting that reserve levels are considered low “when you look at other comparators”, and that the city has a permanent funding gap of $ 100 million per year. which it needs to keep the city’s assets in their current state.
Although district 1 of the county. Mark Signoretti said that while it was good to hear last week that the City of Greater Sudbury has received another AA credit rating from S&P Global, residents are not very interested.
“The comments I received from my constituents were, ‘We don’t care about your credit rating, we care how much money you take out of our pocket each month for property taxes,” “he said. he relayed.
At its June 22 finance and administration meeting, the city council asked staff to prepare a 2022 budget proposal that would include a property tax increase of no more than three percent.
The items listed in the business cases will not be part of that base budget, Facey clarified at today’s meeting.
If the 25 business cases presented today were approved in the final budget using the funding mechanisms proposed therein, they alone would result in an increase in the tax levy of 2.4%.
Of the proposed projects, Sizer said around 19 should not even be considered this year “in light of the economic conditions we face.”
“Each of the business cases has merit. If I had my druthers I would support them all, but unfortunately the reality is not here.
Business cases, in addition to the 25 presented today, will also be included in deliberations on the 2022 budget, including those approved by council in recent weeks and the business cases approved at the city council meeting. October 12.
The municipal administration’s draft budget is expected to be released on November 2 and will lay the groundwork for budget deliberations that begin on November 29.
Tyler Clarke covers City Hall and Political Affairs for Sudbury.com.