Budget Report Goes Before Windsor City Council

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The City of Windsor is taking its next steps towards balancing the budget.

A $14.5-million deficit remains after the province shelled out $19.3-million to help with shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report going before council Monday, budget pressures have hit $15-million in the past.

The report says the city was able to recover, but officials didn't have to deal with funding an asset management plan while also facing provincial budget reductions.

Revenue shortfalls and increased costs from the pandemic have also been thrown in for good measure, according to the report.

Ward 1 Councillor Fred Francis thought city departments would be asked to find savings to the tune of 10 per cent, but administration is asking for five per cent cost savings.

"The stated goal seems to no longer be a zero per cent increase, but a tax increase that's in line with inflation, which is about 1.16 per cent," he added. "To start loosening the financial controls at city hall makes no sense to me and I don't think it's in the best interest of the tax payers in the City of Windsor."

He says residents shouldn't be asked to balance the books when they're hurting financially.

"The price of everything is going up and with COVID-19 the last year and a half has really had a lot of hardship when it comes to people's health and financial health as well and people are concerned," he says.

City council gets underway Monday at 1 p.m.