St. Catharines telephone town hall focuses on COVID-19 impact

CKTB NEWS - telephone town hall

COVID-19 was top of mind during last night's telephone town hall in St. Catharines.

City staff spoke with residents last night to get their opinion on financial matters within the city.

41 percent of participants said they would be in favour of a 3 percent tax increase with some service disruptions, while 34 percent of respondents voted for a 1 percent tax increase and significant service cuts.

When asked what services to cut, 43 percent of respondents said they didn't want to see any services impacted.

The next most popular answer was reducing hours at community centres and arenas (28 percent).

When it comes to offsetting potential tax increases, 44 percent of respondents were in favour of development charges, short-term rental licensing, and selling off surplus city assets.

Finally, almost 90 percent of participants voted in favour of continuing the Community Improvement Plan to support job creation, economic growth, and new tax revenues.

Councillor Mat Siscoe says the results of the annual poll do make a difference.

"I want people to know at the end of the day council reads the results of these things, they listen in on the call, and they take a lot of what comes out of this town hall and put it into the budget each year."

In all, more than 6,000 people answered the call last night.