City council briefs – June 1 – half-rate bus fares

Sarnia City Hall. (BlackburnNews file photo)

Sarnia Transit users will have to pay to ride the bus again starting June 15, but will only pay half the normal rate.

Sarnia council reconsidered its decision to waive transit fares Monday, and decided to modify the rate during the remainder of the pandemic.

A fare of $1.50 per ride, will be collected at the rear entrances to protect drivers.

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Sarnia council has approved a third phase of relief measures as the city continues to experience significant revenue losses and additional costs due to COVID-19.

Travel for conferences and training is being reduced, and minor renovations and the purchase of dog licensing software are being postponed to save the city a further $183,000.

Council previously approved measures to reduce staff, postpone projects and provide temporary financial relief to residents and businesses.

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Guests staying at Sarnia’s hotels and motels will continue to pay a four per cent tax on accommodations during the pandemic.

Council didn’t support a motion to defer the municipal accommodation tax for one year.

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Councillor Dave Boushy’s request to reduce the city’s contribution to the county levy by $10 million was not supported.

Some councillors felt the County of Lambton could be doing more to mitigate the financial strain of COVID-19.

Councillor Terry Burrell questioned the legality of withholding money and cautioned his colleagues that it would be a “very dangerous road to go down.”

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