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Proposed business cases total $7.78M tax impact in 2023

Spurred by city council and administration, 36 business cases for service level increases have been proposed for 2023 budget deliberations, including a complete capital repair of the Onaping Falls Community Centre
Tom Davies Square.

In what’s poised to be a difficult sell, 36 business cases proposing service level increases have been tabled by the city, carrying a total net property tax impact of $7.78 million in 2023.

Although every budget cycle is pre-empted by rhetoric around “difficult decisions,” the 2023 budget process is particularly challenging due to the need for city administration to cut $17.7 million in expenses to hit a targeted 3.7-per-cent tax increase.

Since the business cases would work against this goal, if approved, they are anticipated to spark debates in the council chamber during 2023 budget deliberations next year.

Although the business cases in question are on the Nov. 8 city council agenda, the only decision the current batch of elected officials is expected to make is whether they want them forwarded to next year’s budget talks, which the new city council will make a final decision on.

Among business cases with the greatest 2023 budget impact is a complete capital repair to the Onaping Falls Community Centre, which would tack $1.29 million onto next year’s budget and equate to a 0.41-per-cent levy increase.

Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier advocated for this business case’s inclusion, which came in reaction to various areas of the building showing its age. Earlier this year, a water leak was repaired by the city after Montpellier drew attention to it through city council and local media.

Originally constructed as a school in 1957, an attached indoor pool was added 10 years later. The building now hosts the municipal pool and library alongside several community groups such as a children’s centre, sewing club, community closet, daycare, movie auditorium and food bank.

While Montpellier has brought some attention to the Onaping Falls Community Centre, a business case for its repairs notes the building is in similar condition to other facilities and that “all of the community centres require extensive capital work and funding.”

As reported last year, the city needs to spend an additional $100 million every year to maintain its assets at their current overall condition. The city has approximately 550 facilities with a total replacement value of $751 million, according to a 2018 facilities audit.

A Core Services Review undertaken in 2019 by the city with KPMG ranked the Onaping Falls Community Centre as one of the five lowest-utilized centres/halls in Greater Sudbury. Its utilization was four per cent in 2018, which assumes an availability of 18 hours per day. The city’s overall average for buildings such as this is 20-per-cent utilization.

The building is in an overall “fair/poor condition,” according to the city, with certain elements such as small hot water tanks, heat pumps and specific areas of finishes in better condition having been replaced since 2008.

“However, most of the facility is either original or has been updated no later than the mid-1990s and requires renewal work to bring the facility into an overall state of good repair.”

Although $1.3 million in repairs has been targeted for 2023, another $5 million is identified as being required for 2024 through 2026. The initial round of repairs would target roofing, exterior paint, pool change/washroom upgrade and various other repairs throughout.

Some of the other most costly business cases on the table include:

  • Reconstruct Fielding Road with water and wastewater improvements ($1-million tax impact in 2023, followed by subsequent year impacts for a $45-million project)
  • Invest in additional full-time ambulances ($1.4 million annual tax impact) 
  • Proceed with detailed design of the Employment Land Strategy ($891,000 annual tax impact
  • Implement mattress diversion program ($425,000 annual tax impact)
  • Enhance security services for Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation ($354,000 annual tax impact)
  • Implement hot in-place recycled asphalt road rehabilitation program ($300,000 tax impact in 2023, followed by a $2.7 million impact in 2024)

The Nov. 8 city council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and can be attended in-person at Tom Davies Square or accessed via livestream by clicking here. The meeting’s full agenda and its associated reports can be found by clicking here.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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