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Sudbury city council takes a look at the city’s long-term financial plan

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Sudbury Ward 5 Coun. Mike Parent says if he had to use one word to describe the city’s long-term financial plan, it would be challenging.

“We're looking the next 10 years and we have some huge challenges ahead of us,” parent said.

“We're trying to work with dealing with our homeless crisis, our affordable housing crisis, in addition to our massive infrastructure gap. Sudbury is the largest city by land mass in Ontario, and we just don't have the densest population to sustain to support all of that infrastructure.”

He said it’s a balancing act between maintaining roads, fire halls and other facilities and finding resources “to be a thriving city.”

“We want to be a city that … people love to live in -- and that's going to take some investment,” Parent said.

“So for us, working closely with staff is really, how do we balance the needs of today but still invest in to making sure we're a thriving city of tomorrow?”

Tuesday night, city staff presented a long-term financial plan, which provided information regarding the city’s financial position over the next 10 years.

Finance committee chair Deb McIntosh said three options were presented, with the first being to maintain current services while moving ahead with the new arena and other plans.

“The second scenario is to invest more in things like our roads,” McIntosh said.

“The third scenario provides for our growth and capital. So it's more (that) we're anticipating a larger growth in our population based on our outside report and a population report, and also a larger investment in our capital, assets. So buildings, pipes, roads, those things that we rely on to deliver our services.”

The first scenario calls for an average tax increase of 3.9 per cent in each of the next 10 years, while the second would boost the levy by 5.9 per cent over the same period. The third scenario would see an increase of 8.7 per cent in the next 10 years.

“Members of council are also property owners in the city and we all feel this and I empathize,” Parent said.

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“Any tax increase is going to have an impact on our residents completely understand and get that. So again, we're trying to balance the needs of the services people want with what's affordable.”

The decision on which plan to proceed with will be up to city council, but the base model is currently the plan. 

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