Sarnia City Hall. (BlackburnNews file photo)Sarnia City Hall. (BlackburnNews file photo)

Surging inflation to impact Sarnia budget

It will be another year of pinching pennies at city hall.

Sarnia council meets Monday and there are several 2022 budget requests on the agenda.

Mayor Mike Bradley said non-essential items, including an outdoor ice rink or lifeguard station at Canatara Park Beach, will need to be put on a shelf for now.

"I expect it's going to be more difficult for us to get infrastructure money in the year or two ahead," said Bradley. "And when you add in inflation, which has doubled for all of us, it's going to have a huge impact on the ability for us to do the type of projects where we're going to have to scale them back. I think scaling back is probably the direction."

City council will also hear funding requests from a number of organizations ahead of the December budget meeting. Mayor Bradly said this may not be the year to grant requests.

"My message to council is lets be very prudent," he said. "Make sure every project is absolutely necessary. There's already been $6 million recommended cut by staff and I am concerned about some of those cuts. One of them is, we in the last couple years have spent more money on paving the secondary streets than ever before and they're recommending to keep the budget down, to keep taxes down is to cut $900,000. I would prefer to look at some sort of split on that."

Tuesday morning's virtual meeting starts at 10am.

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