2014-06-23 at 15:13
COUNCIL PREVIEW: Councillors take a look at the books, examine budget shortfalls
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THUNDER BAY – Efforts are continuing towards balancing the city’s annual budget.
City council will hear a report at the Monday meeting that will detail the progress that has been made in trying to get the books back in the black.
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The “best estimate” prepared by city administration forecasts a year-end shortfall of between $3.5 million and $4.3 million, which approaches two per cent of the net budget.
However, administration estimates the shortfall would be between $6.4 million and $7.2 million if restraint and reduction measures had not been implemented earlier this year. The report also says an additional $385,000 in savings was found.
Costs from the long, harsh winter continue to be blamed for the variance but higher than expected legal fees, as well as early leave and retirement costs also listed as contributing factors.
Strategies will be introduced for future budgets over the next three years to address those rising costs.
Also on the agenda, council will be asked to vote on awarding a $3.2 million contract to complete the first phase of the waterfront capital works. The project would see improvements to the Waterfront Streetscape and Market Square at Prince Arthur’s Landing.
Officials from Shelter House will be providing the final report from their SOS Cold Weather Plan pilot project, along with their annual business plan.
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