Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rebate for lost services unlikely

Coun. Doug Holyday is pushing for a rebate or a tax credit to compensate residents for the services they didn’t receive during the strike.

"It was a long strike, we had a lot of employees off that we didn't have to pay. I guess there's a cost to maintaining service on overtime, but I was hoping there would be more," Holyday said.

But budget chief Shelley Carroll said Tuesday that she doesn't think a rebate is the best way to use the savings. "If you do a rebate, you eat up some of those savings in the cost of cutting the cheques and sending them out," Carroll noted. She supports a recommendation from city staff that would put the savings towards next year's operating budget.

The report recommends that because of "the city's financial challenges, staff are recommending that the labour disruption savings be set aside for the 2010 budget."

In a separate report released Tuesday, city staff proposed a two-per-cent increase in garbage fees. The city said the increase is needed to support its plan to achieve 70 per cent waste diversion by 2010. The proposal has to be approved by a committee on Oct. 19 before it can go before city council.

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