$9M in funding sought from Ontario government for new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough

A plan to spend up to $620,000 next year on stormwater management - and then aim to increase that spending yearly, for a decade - received final approval before city council on Monday.

Wayne Jackson, the city's director of public works, said it isn't a tax - and this doesn't mean the city is pre-committing money in next year's budget either.

Jackson said city staff will put a high priority on taking care of stormwater management ponds in the coming years, and will ask council to set aside up to $620,000 next year for it - and to increase that sum annually, as councillors see fit.

For years, the city hasn't maintained its ponds - and Jackson said now it's time to do it.

"We will look to have stormwater a much higher priority, than it has in previous years," he said.

Mayor Daryl Bennett said the proposition will be up for discussion, during budget talks in the coming years.

"We're not committing to a set amount - we're committing to a process," he said.

Bennett also said the city can expect some additional revenue streams, in future years.

For example, council has voted to sell Peterborough Distribution Inc. (PDI), the poles and wires that distribute electricity, to Hydro One.

That sale should net the city between $50 million and $55 million, which the city plans to invest; the interest can help pay for infrastructure projects, the mayor has said.

In addition, the city is expecting a casino to be built, on Crawford Dr. and The Parkway. That is also expected to generate revenue for the city that could be used for construction projects, said city treasurer Sandra Clancy.

Meanwhile a city staff report had left the impression that council was being asked to pre-commit money from its budget for a decade to come, said Coun. Keith Riel - and he wasn't happy about that.

The staff report said that in 10 years, the sum for stormwater management should reach $6.2 million (for that one year alone).

Riel found it expensive, and he said he's never impressed when the possibility of increasing taxes is mentioned - people are already being taxed out of their homes.

But this is about infrastructure in urgent need of repair, he noted.

"And, quite frankly, I'm an infrastructure guy," he said.

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