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The chance the city could be $1 million in the red by the end of the year is a scary possibility, says Coun. Rebecca Johnson.
As of the end of September city administration reports that Thunder Bay is nearly $4 million over the $213.3 million budget. There is some potential relief, however. Tapping winter control, capital transit and the stabilization reserve fund will bring the city's defict down to $1.3 million.
To make up the rest, city departments have been directed to find more savings and review capital projects from 2013. Those department may even have to make "minor service level adjustments" if needed.
But mitigating the damage isn't enough, and the situation still concerns Coun. Johnson.
"This is a little bit scary," she said durring Monday night's council meeting Monday at City Hall.
"Now we have to look at a staff freeze, we have to look at how we can save dollars so that we don't spend anymore money than we absolutely have to for the last two months of the year."
But Coun. Aldo Ruberto doesn't believe there's anything to worry about. From his perspective, the city seems to be in the same place every year but always finds a solutoin by the end of the year.
"During the year doom and gloom seems to portray council meetings,” he said.
City manager Tim Commisso said it's difficult to tell exactly where the city's at until the end of the year, adding that the variances are projected using conservative estimates.
Community and Emergency Services tops the list with $1.5 million. That's due to $638,000 from fire services for personnel services and a temporary garage. Child care is $200,000.
Infrastructure and Operations says its $1.4 million is due to unseasonably late snow.
The city's legal services has an $1 million unfavourable variance due to bringing in outside counsel for certain issues. Golf comes in at $255,000 while Superior North EMS projects $440,000.
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