Municipal staff

Sundridge city staff salaries to rise but not at the expense of taxpayers

The 6.1% hike raises salaries for all employees by $53,000, but will result in no tax increase for local taxpayers

Sundridge city staff will soon be getting a pay raise to reflect the sudden rise in inflation.

Staff have been tasked by the council with preparing a final report that will see their pay rise by 5.1%, the rate of inflation reported in January.
In addition to the 5.1%, staff will receive an additional 1% pay increase.

The 6.1 percent hike raises salaries for all employees by $53,000, but will result in no tax increase for local taxpayers.

Council achieved this increase by reducing work at Edgar Street Park and two other projects.

Edgar Street Park includes a full-size basketball court. The council originally intended to use the land as an ice rink during the winter.

This would have required the municipality to use concrete instead of asphalt as the base, as concrete will last longer.

However, council learned that neighboring Strong Township had received a $500,000 grant for an outdoor rink and council. Barbara Belrose told her colleagues that Strong wanted to put the rink up this year.

With an ice rink next to Sundridge, the council chose not to install its own ice rink on the local basketball court.

Therefore, the basketball court will have an asphalt surface instead of concrete, which will reduce the cost of the project by approximately $45,000.

The Council will save an additional $8,000 by reducing work on the triptych sculpture at the waterfront of Lake Bernard and the Children’s Garden, also on the waterfront.

Another project the council has talked about is the creation of a skateboard park, although the municipality has not yet committed any money for the installation.

The board has also decided that it will not make any financial commitment to the skateboard park this year.

The board also considered its options if it should change its mind in the future and opt for a rink on the basketball court.

Deputy Mayor Shawn Jackson pointed out that at this point the surface will be asphalt and while some communities will install a rink on an asphalt surface, Jackson said if there is inadequate drainage that will reduce the life of the playing surface in the long term. .

The Board also discussed granting staff a 5.1% increase and another 2% increase.

But the con. Steve Hicks said it would raise taxes by about $40 per household.

Staff are expected to come back with a final report at the next meeting recommending the 6.1% pay rise with information on how the raise will be achieved.

The first staff report to council proposed scenarios for 10% and 20% wage increases and the fiscal impact this would have on local ratepayers.

Council rejected these increases and asked staff to produce a second report.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works at the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.