Where your St. Thomas tax dollars are destined in 2019 (a lot are going to wages and benefits)

 city_scope_logo-cmykDirector of Finance David Aristone has made public the 2019 proposed operating and capital budgets, with city council due to begin deliberations 5 p.m. Monday (Jan. 7).
As outlined in the budget document, this year’s property tax levy is $52.3 million, an increase over last year of 1.8 per cent.
The capital budget target for 2019 is $4,045,000, up from $3.4 million in 2018. Proposed capital projects involve $23.5 million in expenditures.
Some of the key projects flagged for approval include the reconstruction of Elm Street, from Sunset Road to First Avenue at a cost of $8.8 million, none of which will come from the tax levy, but instead from development charges, reserves and water/sanitary/stormwater charges.
Same story for the complete streets program, budgeted for $7 million.

Continue reading

Region’s auto parts plants feeling on edge by collapse

The bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler is sending shock waves through South-western Ontario’s huge auto parts industry.

And although Ford of Canada is still afloat, the company’s St. Thomas assembly plant became a casualty yesterday when it was suddenly shut down for one week. The company blamed a “parts shortage.”
Full story

Lessons to be learned from jump-starting an American car town

Thanks to Julie Leeds for the wonderful heads up on this. Instead of Chrysler, substitute Ford and the location is not Kokomo, Indiana but instead St. Thomas, Ontario. However the comparisons, challenges and high stakes mirror each other …

Reviving an American car town has got to be one of the toughest jobs in the country. It may also be one of the most important.
In Kokomo, Ind., ground zero for auto industry layoffs, this job falls on Jeb Conrad.
Full story