Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
5:48 AM EDT
2014-06-23 at 22:49

Council told city budget $4 million over by year end a worst-case scenario

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

City administration can't predict the weather.

But it's hoping for help from Mother Nature so that $4 million over-budget in the forecast by year's end doesn't come true.

"If we get a decent fall season for winter control we won't see the type of expenditure we had last year," city manager Tim Commisso said Monday night during a variance report.

"That should help us."

Legal, insurance and retirement costs have also hit the budget, along with a $650,000 dip in building permits. Administration has found nearly $3 million through deferrals, hiring freezes and some cost cutting, otherwise it says the unfavourable variance would be up to $7.19 million.

Commisso said the $4 million is a worst-case scenario for the city. It can be covered through the city's rate stabilization reserve fund, which is currently holds more than $5 million. Coun. Rebecca Johnson worried that revenues for the city will also be hit.

"It's not easy times," she said.

Another report is coming to council in August.

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error



We've improved our comment system.
Robert Bob says:
Over budget no big deal. There is the Special Reserve Fund, some accounting tricks that can move amounts around. More consultants reports not a problem, higher taxes next year NO problem. The City can raise Taxes again. Major Cost overruns on all city projects, not a problem. No public accountability whatsoever just spend away then raise taxes. Tax and Spend is how you operate. Event centre Phase 3 report over budget, "Event Center" will have cost over runs and biggest boondoggle to hit the City of Thunder Bay. Operating losses wil lpile up each and every year, No Problem just raise the Taxes to offset the losses. No Problem MAN its the City of Thunder Bay.
6/25/2014 8:45:27 AM
westfortforever says:
Everything with this council is done in secret and the taxpayers only find out when they need more money or a lawsuit pops up.
6/24/2014 2:30:07 PM
signman says:
What's going on with the sale of MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE?

This was supposed to save the taxpayers a bundle!

Instead it's just sitting there when it could have been producing revenue.






6/24/2014 12:51:39 PM
Pandora says:
Administration 'Spin Dept' is really doing everything they can to earn those raises. Shuffling money we really don't have...because if you owe money the money you think you have really isn't your money to spend.
Mr Commisso has a strange way of doing his accounting.

Councillor's, I have a question for you? Has anyone ever heard Mrs Bush actually have an answer to any question asked of her! Her pat answer is "I'll send that to you in a memo".

Then there's Aldo...who's job seems to be patting Mr Commisso on the back.
6/24/2014 11:43:25 AM
Commonsense says:
@Bay City Roller-
Interesting comment about the hockey team NOT coming to TB.
What is source of your info?
Perhaps it is just City trying to downplay fact that this is mainly a hockey arena, as they know Feds are not providing funding for arenas for private sports teams..
That is, in my opinion, the reason for adding the "Convention Centre" element to this project-so they will hopefully be able to qualify for funding....
Meanwhile, convention centre business. Is down across the country, and TB is in a poorly accessible location for flights, even though we are in the middle of the country. Often you need to fly to TO or WPG then back to Thunder Bay, which can complicate things when poor weather conditions delay flights.
6/24/2014 11:36:33 AM
DWB says:
So we still are 4 million dollars over budget but can still hire consultants at 1 million dollars a pop. What a completely ridiculous council.
6/24/2014 9:58:05 AM
Curious says:
Wages need to be cut back everywhere! No bonuses for managers and supervisors. Do we need to be paying so many staff such a high wage to " grow flowers???" Then we pay how much more in wages to hire seasonal staff to plant Thomas! Contract it out. Rediculous ! That is only a start. Cut back on every person having a truck to drive. Pretty sad when you see 5 city vehicles sitting in a restaurant parking lot at 9:15 am and 5 "workers" sitting there all having a folk breakfast, reading the paper with their coffee. 5 vehicles, employees can't they have breakfast at home? Share a vehicle? If you add up the time they spend deciding where they are all going to meet for breakfast (morning coffee break) then the drive there and back, gas costs, then it is lunch time and then afternoon coffee - no wonder it takes so long to get anything done in our city! Contract the jobs out, it will cost us less for more...much more.

6/24/2014 9:33:08 AM
CM Punk says:
By now I think the reserve fund is under 10 million with all of the frantic use of it.
You gotta wonder if the households of these council members is run the same way as the books of Thunder Bay.
6/24/2014 8:58:01 AM
mikevirtanen1961 says:
You can think that as much as you want, but it doesn't make it anywhere near true.
6/24/2014 11:06:04 AM
signman says:
Coun. Rebecca Johnson said it's not easy times.

Yet she votes with the rest of them each and every time to waste more on the Waterfront.


Look at those two ridiculous beacons at the waterfront that cost us a cool $1 million dollars. And $4 million dollars it is costing the taxpayers on a study to tell us there is no parking etc yet they want to proceed with an unaffordable Event Centre.

Just $100 million dollars when many don't no where there next meal is coming from or where they will get enough money to pay their tax bills that will be coming out again in July.


6/24/2014 2:15:43 AM
fastball says:
What's so hard to understand? They budgeted X dollars for the winter months. The winter was way colder and more snowy than expected, so it cost them more in ploughing and water main repairs than they had anticipated. It happens.
And if you don't know where your next meal is coming from because of the upcoming tax bill...well, I really suggest you have a few more problems to sort out than just your tax assessment. Yes, there are always people walking the razor's edge, financially...even back in the good old days when taxes were low. If you're cutting it that close to the bone, either get a smaller house, a better job, or make some adjustments in your spending habits.
6/24/2014 4:58:00 PM
S Duncan says:
and how much has been spent to date on the welfare dome and all the butt grabbing partys congratulating each other?

seems the solution is right under Timmys nose, but I guess its blocking the view?
6/23/2014 11:38:42 PM
eventscentre says:
There haven't been any parties for the Events Centre yet as it does not exist at the moment. The big party will be opening night when they drop the puck at the inaugural game of our Thunder Bay Ice Caps. Can you imagine all the happy, proud faces? We'll have finally spent some taxpayers money on something fun, rather than just filling potholes (as is YOUR life's ambition). I hope mayor Boshcoff drops the first puck!
6/24/2014 7:25:47 AM
Bay City Roller says:
The Winnipeg Jets ARE NOT moving their farm team to Thunder Bay. They have the best attendance record in the AHL in St. Johns. They set a record for consecutive sell outs this year. They are not going to arbitrarily pick up and move to Thunder Bay. Especially given our cities inability to support any sports team, ever. The AHL team promise is a complete farse concocted to drum up support for the events centre. It will never happen. Also, you dont seem to have a clue what taxes are collected for. taxes are meant to pay for things a society needs to operate ie. sewers, roads, police etc. They are not for providing you with "fun". It's up to you to provide your own entertainment in life, not the tax payers. You sound like a teenager.
6/24/2014 10:04:22 AM
mikevirtanen1961 says:

If it's a farce, how did they get the Ice Caps to post this on their website, then? It's not about the money, it's that they can't effectively run a farm team that's literally half a country away.
6/24/2014 11:24:05 AM
caesarjbasquitti says:
Wage rollbacks to city Councillors would be the first step, I know of volunteers on local boards who do the same type of work for free.

This should be followed by cancelling all travel expenses would be the other.

The past year costs are totally unacceptable.
6/23/2014 11:06:31 PM
fastball says:
How many of your volunteers handle a city of 100K and a budget of 200-odd million? We should make those people that run our city work for free, right?
Listen - the percentage of the city budget that goes to paying these councillors for giving up countless hours to do thankless job is miniscule compared to the big picture. You couldn't pay me enough to do that job.
Listen, it was a tough winter - with unforseen costs in water main repairs and snow removal. Next year, it could be totally the opposite, and we'll end up with a surplus. Should we award them bonuses then?
6/24/2014 4:10:44 AM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Log In