City councillors continued to debate service cuts Friday as they work towards another tax freeze for 2013, but it’s unclear if it will be achieved.
The cuts on the table were proposed reductions in capital spending, which would have impacts that multiply over the next ten years.
In light of the big impact a number of services were spared, including:
library Sunday service hours and collection purchases
four bus routes and other London Transit Commission services
the bicycle lane program (spared a $110,000 cut)
ash tree protection, removal and replanting (but new options are being considered)
Cuts did come though, $500,000 from new bus purchases and $50,000 less for upgrades to the Dearness Home for Seniors.
On Thursday, council had already decided on more than half of the 54 proposed service cuts necessary for another tax freeze.
By the end of Friday though, the city is still looking at a 2.5 per cent increase to property taxes or $59 more for the average homeowner.
The deliberations will continue on February 7th and 8th.
Of note, in 2012 it took until the final day of deliberations before council found sufficient cuts to reach a zero increase.