CitySSMA list and a discussion on the funding outside agencies receive from the city will be a subject on the next council agenda.  That decision was made after talking about how to proceed with a request for staff to come up with that list.  Some of that discussion was tense at times with a suggestion to get serious about reducing a possible levy of 4.6 percent from councillor Frank Fata.  Fata wants results to come from any discussion, and sugggested that non-union city staff might have to take a zero percent pay increase as one solution.  Councillor Susan Myers suggested that 4.6 percent is not the end figure, adding budget reductions could be made by considering city staff when it comes to budget cuts.  She mentioned that outside agencies already started their budgets in January and should be looked at a year prior to any potential reductions. Ward 4 councillor Rick Niro supported the idea of a discussion on March 23rd, but felt it was redundant to request a list of affected outside agencies.  Mayor Christian Provenzano suggested an amendment to have that conversation closer to the budget date of April 20th, but that amendment was not confirmed.

Council also chose to move forward on Monday night with the installation of yellow flashing lights in the area of Airport Road and Base Line.  The decision was made after a presentation from concerned citizen Kim Carter, who expressed several issues that merited lighting at that intersection which Carter said was unique and deserved ‘special attention’.  The reasons ranged from higher speeds and traffic in the area during the spring and summer to remembering what happened before a beacon was installed — a fatal accident in that area back in 1958.  Councillor Frank Fata asked if Prince Township would split the cost of installing the new lights.  The answer was that the option would be considered by township council.  In addition, staff will look into flashing lights at other intersections in the city to improve safety — information that may result in a pilot project that would last two years. 

The John Rowswell Hub Trail is about to become more ‘animated’.  A request was approved by Council on Monday to allow the Nordik Institute to receive 28 thousand dollars to make the trail more interactive.  The money will come out of the Economic Diversification Fund.  One of the main attractions is an ‘audio tour’, where walkers and others along the trail can learn more about certain points of interest by downloading information onto their mobile devices.  Mobile devices for the audio tour would also be available at the local library.  The approval was not unanimous, with councillor Frank Fata the only one voting against.  Fata felt the money could have been better spent fixing potholes on city streets.  Another question was asked about this enhancement resulting in more days stayed for tourists.  EDC Chief Executive Officer Tom Dodds answered that research has shown that the more information eminating from a tourist attraction, the more memorable the experience will become.