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City council to consider project business cases totalling $7.17M

Tuesday’s finance and administration meeting will serve as a budget deliberation preview as they consider draft business cases for various projects
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One of the projects being proposed is a garage structure at Lionel E. Lalonde Centre to relocate some vehicles from the main ambulance garage space has been proposed at a cost of $370,000, plus an annual operating cost to maintain the structure of $25,000. (File)

Between city council-directed and staff initiatives, approximately $7.17 million in new spending has been proposed in business cases under consideration for the 2022 budget.

The city’s finance and administration committee will decide during Tuesday’s meeting whether the items make it into city administration’s draft budget set to be released Nov. 2. 

Although the decisions made on Tuesday will offer a good indication of support for each business case, things are liable to change as city council begins budget deliberations on Nov. 29. 

Of the 25 business cases prepared, the following are the top five most expensive as it relates to 2022 budget impacts. A full rundown of business cases can be found by clicking here

  • A bikeway extension on Notre Dame Avenue between Wilma Street and the Bridge of Nations to connect existing cycling facilities between LaSalle Boulevard and Walford Road would impact the 2022 budget by $2.2 million. The total project cost is $5.5 million, with the city anticipating they will receive federal funding.
  • The renewal of Municipal Road 55/Lorne Street would affect the 2022 budget to the tune of $1.49 million. The total project cost is approximately $69 million, of which $10.8 million has already been budgeted and the balance would be placed on debt. Approximately 20,000 vehicles travel down this arterial road, which connects Whitefish, Naughton, LIvely and Copper Cliff to the downtown. 
  • The Valley East Twin Pad Multipurpose Sports Complex business case prepared for the 2021 budget was deferred to the 2022 budget. The total estimated project cost is $29.2 million and the impact to the 2022 budget would be $584,520. The Hanmer project has been met with some opposition from environmentalists who lament the proposed loss of green space. 
  • A garage structure at Lionel E. Lalonde Centre to relocate some vehicles from the main ambulance garage space has been proposed at a cost of $370,000, plus an annual operating cost to maintain the structure of $25,000. 
  • An investment of $300,000 has been proposed toward the city’s Nodes and Corridors Strategy, which sets out to help revitalize and connect downtown, the town centres, strategic core areas and corridors of the city. 

While the city’s 2021 budget saw a property tax increase of four per cent approved, city council decided during their June 22 finance and administration meeting to ask staff to prepare a 2022 budget that includes a property tax increase no greater than three per cent. 

The impact of approving all 25 projects included in the business cases in the 2022 budget alone would be a tax increase of approximately 2.4 per cent.