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Council Approves 2011 City Budget


March 07, 2011 – City Council tonight ratified a Tax-Supported Budget that will result in a 0.26% municipal tax rate decrease. For the average residential property, after taking into consideration the impact of reassessment the Budget represents a 1.27% increase in property tax, or a $31 increase for the year.

This tax increase is in line with or below many other Ontario municipalities.

What does the 2011 Budget give us?

Capital Budget highlights:

  • New Enhanced Infrastructure Renewal Program with an additional $1.5 million into roads - $2 million
  • Increase in contribution to Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA) for the Neebing-McIntyre Floodway dredging project and LRCA building - $1.5 million
  • Overall increase in capital contribution from tax revenue of $3.4 million

Operating Budget highlights:

  • City service levels maintained
  • New Crime Prevention Council Coordinator
  • New Mining Services Division for CEDC
  • Addition of a Zoning Officer and Plans Examiner to meet the demands of increased building permit activities in the City
  • Additional staffing in the Homes for the Aged to meet additional Provincial standards

City Council also ratified the Rate-Supported Budgets (water, wastewater and solid waste). 

  • Water rate increases are proposed in accordance with the long-term Drinking Water System Financial Plan, approved by City Council in February 2010. This Plan maintains affordable water rates while moving towards sustainability as mandated by the Province. Water rates will increase in 2011 by 14.3% per cent, representing an increase of $55 for the average residential customer. Thunder Bay’s rates for residential customers remain affordable and are still among the lowest in the Province for high consumption industrial, institutional and commercial customers. The water rate increase is required for Thunder Bay to achieve full cost recovery of its water and waste water infrastructure renewal and operating costs over the next few years.
  • Wastewater charges will equal 75% of the total water fixed cost and volumetric charge.
  • Solid Waste costs per kg will increase 6% effective April 1, 2011.

Some of the major infrastructure investments planned in the 2011 Capital Budget include:

  • Road rehabilitation – pavement   $6.8 million
  • Watermain replacement & rehabilitation  $6.5 million
  • Sanitary sewer rehabilitation   $2.3 million
  • Transit fleet replacement   $1.9 million
  • Municipal facilities asset renewal  $1.8 million
  • Bridge rehabilitation    $1.6 million
  • Water Pollution Control Plant   $1.4 million
  • Whalen Building upgrades   $1.3 million
  • Sidewalk replacements    $1.1 million
  • Water treatment plant     $1 million
  • Storm sewers     $1 million
  • Landfill Site Compactor    $700,000
  • Junot/Golf Links Hydro Utility relocation $500,000
  • New recreational trails    $250,000
  • Urban forest planting & stewardship  $230,000
  • Neighbourhood parks redevelopment  $200,000

“For City Council in 2011, it was important to address infrastructure needs while keeping any tax increase below the rate of inflation,” said Mark Bentz, Chair of Administrative Services and Budget deliberations. “Thunder Bay’s 2011 Budget is fiscally responsible and accomplishes those objectives.”

Taxes are levied based upon assessment values as determined by MPAC (Ontario Municipal Property Assessment Corporation), over which the City has no direct control or influence. 

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Contact:  Mark Bentz, Chair of Administrative Services, 577-8226
               Carol Busch, City Treasurer & General Manager - Finance & Corporate Services, 625-2242