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Big budget decisions expected this week

By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Dec 02, 2013 - 1:20 PM |
City council is expected to finalize the budget this week, but before the final vote — expected on Wednesday — members of the city's finance committee have some big decisions to make, picking and choosing from a host of budget options in a virtual budget “parking lot.” File photo.

City council is expected to finalize the budget this week, but before the final vote — expected on Wednesday — members of the city's finance committee have some big decisions to make, picking and choosing from a host of budget options in a virtual budget “parking lot.” File photo.

Barring an unexpected delay, Sudburians should know this week how much their property taxes are going up.

But before the final vote — expected on Wednesday — members of the city's finance committee have some big decisions to make, picking and choosing from a host of budget options in a virtual budget “parking lot.”

Not including those options, the tax hike sits around three per cent, following news last month of lower-than-forecast provincial grants. And that amount also doesn't include the water/wastewater rate, expected to increase by at least 3.6 per cent.

The majority of that increase – 2.3 per cent – is to pay for the $60-million biosolids plant currently under construction on Kelly Lake Road. And the hike could be higher – as much as 7.4 per cent – if the committee opts to include increases to fund the long-term repair and replacement costs of the water/wastewater infrastructure. City councillors will make that decision Tuesday.

And on Wednesday, they'll decide whether to help fund scaled-back plans to build a medical research facility. Supporters of the Advanced Medical Research Institute originally hoped for a $10-million commitment from the city, as part of a plan to build a $60-million facility. But they have scaled back those plans, and instead want to establish themselves first in a former school on Walford Road, at a cost of $15.5 million.

Now they're asking for $750,000 over three years from the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation's budget, as well as $1.25 million in the same period from city council.
Darren MacDonald

Darren MacDonald

Staff Writer

@Darrenmacd

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