CASH CRUNCH: HALIFAX ROAD BUCKS IN DOUBT

HALIFAX, N.S. — The City of Halifax has been forced to spend so much on snow removal it might not have much left over to repair roads this spring.

The director of the Halifax Regional Municipality’s public works department says the proposed 2001-2002 budget has been badly depleted.

“We don’t have enough money, so we have to do something,” Kulvinder Dhillon told the program and services review committee of council. “The budget has to go up, or we have to make adjustments to the service levels.”

The public works and transportation department is looking at a slightly increased operating budget, of $42.3 million compared to $41.5 million in 2000-2001.

Even though that’s a bit more, it has to be split among many operations, including street cleaning and the removal of leaves, which can clog drains. Adding pressure to the problem, is the fact the department has only $11.5 million earmarked for street maintenance, compared to $14 million a year ago.

Dhillon warned the city’s streets are worsening, so the budget for repairs should be expanded, not reduced.

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