For the first time in several years North Bay City Council has unanimously passed the operating budget.

It calls for a 4.8 % increase in the tax levy.

Budget Chief Councillor Tanya Vrebosch says the increase is shared by investments in infrastructure, operational costs within city departments and municipal contributions to local service partners.

Some of the increase is being  offset by improvements to the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund and assessment growth.

Vrebosch says all councillors are seeing the benefits.

“They’re realizing the challenges that we’re facing but also seeing the investments that we’re making in the city. Council is united and that’s refreshing because it’s showing a lot of confidence in the city,” she says.

Councillor Mike Anthony who has voted against the operating budget in the past says he supported it this time because he is favour of North Bay Police efforts to make the city safer

“I am committed to try and get more funds into the operating side of the police budget. More funds for the men and women to fight street crime and more funds for more officers to fight street crime, That’s what I was supporting,” Anthony says.

Vrebosch believes people are starting to see the benefits of growing the city.

“They’re seeing roads being repaired, free wi-fi at the arenas, the skating oval coming back and improved accessibility on North Bay Transit vehicles,” she says.

Councillor Dave Mendicino says there are many things to like in this budget

“Cassellholme, the arena that needs to be paid for and parking initiatives downtown. Everybody was supportive of these things. That’s a good chunk of the increase,” he says.

The capital budget was also approved at a cost of $47 million.

The budget for the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board is up by 4.4 % this year and the city’s share of that is $500,000.

(photo by station staff)

Filed under: 2020-operating-budget, north-bay-city-council, north-bay-city-hall