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Saint John council approves $10 million deficit reduction plan

Saint John council approves $10 million deficit reduction plan

Posted in: News Item

Date Posted: 2020-05-08

Organization Name: City of Saint John

Saint John council has approved its Sustainability Plan to address the $10 million deficit for 2021-2022.

The plan includes a variety of cost-saving measures and ways to increase the city’s revenue. Overall, 70 percent of the $10 million in savings will come from workforce adjustments, and internal cost savings, with approximately $6 million found from the workforce and $1.3 million from continuous improvement initiatives identified by staff. The remaining $3 million has been found through detailed analysis of potential service reductions, increased user fees, and lower spending.

Overall, the impacts to our community have been minimized to the maximum extent possible.

“We now have a clear plan in place to address the city’s deficit for the coming year. This is an important first step that puts us on the right path to address our financial challenges,” said Saint John Mayor Don Darling. “The city has addressed the majority of the deficit through internal measures, which shows that council is serious about addressing our own sustainability. The remainder represents carefully planned efforts that will ensure we achieve a balanced budget next year.”

With council’s endorsement of the plan, the city will now begin work to implement it. All 21 actions within the plan will be rolled out in 2020, with the goal to have them all in place by January 1, 2021.

At the same time as the deficit is being addressed, the city will continue to reach out to key stakeholders and finalize other reviews and audits currently underway to find further efficiencies and savings. The city has committed to keep the public informed as details of the Sustainability Plan are rolled out in the coming months. For more details, visit www.saintjohn.ca/sustainablesaintjohn.

The city will also continue to work with the province and other stakeholders to achieve long-term reforms and actions identified within the Government of New Brunswick report, Sustaining Saint John – A Three-Part Plan.

“As mayor and council, we have led several discussions with the province over the past eight months to outline the need and opportunities for municipal reforms, along with more immediate measures that could support growth in Saint John. Immediate opportunities include a heavy industry tax transfer and plan for regional cost sharing,” Darling said. “Transformational reforms are the key to growth in our city and across our region. We will continue to work with the Province to ensure that Saint John can grow to its full potential though necessary municipal reforms.”