City of Windsor budget deliberations are in full swing as council digs into what the city’s chief financial officer is calling a “status quo” budget.
On the table is a proposal that would see no increase in property taxes.
At the same time, the city is looking for council to approve spending $1.6 billion over the next decade on capital projects – the bulk of that on roads, sewers transportation and parks.
As CTV previously reported the city is also facing a $38 million budget hole caused by decreased revenues and added costs from the pandemic.
But the city is leaving those additional costs unbudgeted – hoping for help from upper levels of government.
Delegates had the opportunity to speak Monday with some pressing council to provide free feminine hygiene products at all city facilities.
A handful of citizens also spoke to the need to improve transit.
After passing a nearly five per cent budget increase, the city agreed to pilot a route from east Windsor to St. Clair College, splitting the $180,000 cost with the college and will also look to set up a “College bus pass” similar to the “U-pass.”
But the loudest call came from a variety of people asking the city to hire two additional outreach workers.
These workers work closely with police and downtown businesses to connect people who are homeless… with services and shelter.
Councillor Rino Bortolin plans to table a motion to add those workers which Joyce Zuk of Family Services Windsor-Essex Believes are essential to enhance their presence in the community.
“We would need to increase the complement of outreach workers,” Zuk said. “No ifs, and or buts about that. If we have more resources in the way of staff, we can absolutely do more of the work that council wants us to.”
That motion hasn’t been voted upon yet as council continues to work its way through the budget.
This is a developing story, more to come.