Friday, March 09, 2007

Start adding it up

Clock ticking on 211 service (subscription only)

Should the partnership be approved by Windsor council, the city will be required to pay $112,639 of the 211 system's annual operating cost.

The County of Essex, which already approved the plan, would also pay $112,639 for the service, and the United Way would pay $96,548.

According to the story, the Province is supposed to kick in $200,000 for this venture. The problem is, how long will that Provincial funding last? When it disappears, will we reduce the service accordingly or simply increase the amount required by Windsor and Tecumseh?

Hasn't the Province downloaded enough services to the City already without appropriate funding? Now we're actually looking for additional services to download ourselves, with no long term stable funding in place.

Not now, not in Windsor.

If the Province wants cities to provide a 211 service then they should fund the entire service. Period, full stop.

It doesn't sound like much, but these new expenditures are beginning to add up now and will continue to add up in the future. Don't forget, the salaries attached to these positions will all become part of the " non-discretionary increases " that the budget is subjected to each year due to increased wages and benefits negotiated.

$112,639.00 - 211 Service
$259,427.00 - PR Office
$47,500.00 - PR Office startup
$250,000.oo - Environmental Coordinator and staff
$35,000.00 - City Hall meeting catering
??????? - Sewer Surcharge increase
??????? - Water Rate increase

Total so far - $704,566.00 and we haven't even seen the budget yet.

What else is lurking in the unseen budget documents?