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Impact report to be discussed

Halifax regional council is set to receive a report on the impact of last May’s budget cuts on municipal services.

Halifax regional council is set to receive a report on the impact of last May’s budget cuts on municipal services.

Council has set aside three days, beginning this morning, to hear from staff on how across-the-board cuts have impacted HRM’s ability to deliver services.

The briefing is also meant to inform future budgetary discussions.

The report’s briefing states the effects of the cuts, enacted to balance the 2010-11 operating budget, are beginning to be felt.

“Seven months of this fiscal year have passed and the service implications are becoming more apparent,” it reads.

“In general, staff has managed to maintain services at an acceptable level, although this has not come without a cost.”

Finance staff originally delivered the report Nov. 23, but council voted to defer the issue for more study.

At the time, Coun. Steve Streatch said the presentation didn’t go far enough.

“We’ve got to make some really serious and painful decisions over the next little while and I really think we have to take a little more time and reflect,” Streatch said.

One slide on the staff presentation reads “We have hit the wall: Cut services or increase taxes.”

But Mayor Peter Kelly says he doesn’t think a tax increase should be on the table.

“I still hold that there should be no tax rate increase,” he said yesterday.

Read the report briefing by going to halifax.ca/council/ then clicking on 2010 Council Agendas and Reports and then Dec. 13.

 
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