Windsor Mulls Use for Gas Tax Windfall

The City of Windsor has a pleasant problem to deal with, just ahead of budget deliberations in a week.

One item in the federal budget boosts the amount of funding to municipalities from the gas tax fund.

City Treasurer Joe Mancina says it virtually doubles the amount the city has to spend by $13.5-million to around $27-million.

Mancina says the rules have been relaxed on what the funding can go to.

"Traditionally the federal gas tax has been spent on roads, sidewalks and bridges.  But in this particular case, there's some expanded categories for potential expenditures.  Public transit, waste water, community energy systems for example."

Mancina admits it means a lot of quick work to get the proposals ready for budget deliberations.

He says this will let council take some items off the "to do" list.

"They're really one-time dollars that are coming in, that will assist us in addressing some capital priority items that we wouldn't otherwise be able to do.  Because the capital funding is limited,obviously in terms of there's a finite amount of funds we have available each year."

Mancina points out these dollars are contingent on the federal budget being passed, which could take a month.

He says council will have the opportunity to make decisions to be ready when the funding is released and he emphasizes, this won't increase the ongoing revenue, it's a one-time boost.

Windsor City Council begins budget deliberations April 1.