Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Sudbury is expected to approve its first multi-year budget including a $859 million capital spending plan for 2024 through 2027.
Council will review the budget at meetings Dec. 12, 18 and 19, 2023. Additional meetings will be scheduled if needed. Council is expected to approve the final budget in December.
“I would like to acknowledge the significant work and thorough analysis that staff has completed to develop the City’s first multi-year budget,” said Ward 9 councillor Deb McIntosh, chair of the finance and administration committee. “This allows us to make forward-looking decisions, particularly when it comes to capital expenditures and asset renewal.
If approved by council, an additional 1.5 per cent special capital levy will be collected to accelerate road renewal efforts for each year from 2024 through to 2027 and an additional 0.5 per cent levy in 2024 will strengthen reserve balances and help manage the risk of price fluctuations.
The budget also includes a proposed 4.8 per cent rate increase to the 2023 water and wastewater user rates for annual renewal, repair and maintenance needed to keep the system sustainable.
The proposed 2024-2025 budget includes important investments in roads, facilities and community services and the committee warns the next two years faces significant pressures and commitments including:
- inflation and supply chain disruptions,
- aging assets that are nearing end of life,
- rising construction costs,
- a tight labour market,
- the need to improve reserve funds,
- legislative changes which impact costs and revenues,
- support for transitional housing services.
The proposed 2024-2027 capital budget recommends a record investment of $859 million over the next four years to address critical needs that relate to existing infrastructure in the areas of roads, bridges, water and wastewater, facilities and fleet.
“The proposed budget recommends record capital investment in our infrastructure to address longstanding asset renewal needs and provides a multi-year plan that advances Council’s strategic plan priorities,” said CAO Ed Archer. “The proposed budget also considers opportunities for growth, through investments related to our downtown arena/event centre and the Junction East cultural hub.
“We are focused on delivering Council’s vision of building a healthy, prosperous and thriving city.”
From October 11 to November 8, 2023, Greater Sudbury residents had the opportunity to share feedback on spending priorities and desired service levels through the City’s Over to You online engagement portal, by filling out a paper survey or by calling 311.
The proposed budget and engagement results can be viewed at overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca where residents can ask questions. Virtual budget town halls will be held on Wednesday, December 6 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m.
For more information on the 2024-2025 operating budget and 2024-2027 capital budget visit www.greatersudbury.ca/budget.