Volume 93, Issue 53

Friday, December 3, 1999


CASA wish-list announced

City toys with budget surplus

Napster goes off-line for students

Hands-on learning in cyberspace

Preventative bacteria probed

Donation fuels AIDS education

Keep fit, have fun and warm down


Caught on campus

Buzz Mecca

City toys with budget surplus

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

In meetings held yesterday and today, the City of London is discussing how to spend their meaty budget surplus.

Although the original surplus was expected to be $8 million, deputy mayor Anne Marie DeCicco, said the total has now risen to $12 million. The Board of Control will present the final amount to city councillors on Dec. 14, she added. "Until that time, nothing will be final."

The Board will discuss how to use the extra $4 million, she said. Most of the pressure from the councillors has been directed towards reserving the money for a later date, or paying off part of the City's accumulated debt.

DeCicco said both the community at large and the Board, however, would like to see the City offset some of their taxes. She added property taxes are expected to increase by approximately $16 next year. "We hope to bring it down a little further."

Ward 6 councillor Ben Veel said the money is not an incredible amount in the grand scheme of things.

Looking towards the Dec. 14 meeting, Veel said he would vote to reserve some of the surplus' funds for the future and also help some social programs. "I'm very sensitive to the needs of children," he said.

Heavy taxes on citizens, such as seniors with fixed budgets or incomes should also be alleviated, he said. "I want to protect those people."

Maj. Harold Hosken, community relations director for the Salvation Army, said he would like to see some of the money directed towards setting up a shelter for homeless youths.

The organization recently proposed to the City that a shelter be implemented, however Hosken said he has not yet received any word. "I think we have support from the social service side and everything seems to be falling into place. We have to wait for city council now."

Although the London Downtown Business Association has been occupied with many costly endeavours such as the Main Street Program, LDBA chair Lindsey Elwood said he does not plan to request more money from the surplus.

"I think it doesn't affect the LBDA. [Our] projects are already funded. It would be nice to see the money be spent downtown. But I don't think we're going to go after more than we're entitled to."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999