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Fredericton cuts back on Officers’ Square, other projects to make up COVID-19 losses

The City of Fredericton will defer some capital projects to make up a loss of revenue resulting from COVID-19 restrictions. 

The city said it could see a shortfall of $1.4 million in non-tax revenue by the end of July. 

The city has seen a loss in transit and parking fees, as well as fees for recreational services and the hotel accommodation levy.

“That money can be diverted from building new projects for the community to addressing these non-tax revenue shortages,” said Coun. Greg Ericson, chair of the finance and administration committee.

“Given the current circumstances, I think the finances of the city can adapt to this problem in the short term very effectively.”

Some of those projects include reducing the work that will happen at Officers’ Square by $1 million and the Exhibition Grounds by $200,000, as well as cutting the HR talent management project, which will save $200,000. 

“These projects all go back into the capital project queue for the establishment of the 2021 budget,” Ericson said.

“There is a chance … where near the end of a construction season smaller projects can be brought forward they can be accomplished if there are available funds and if there’s available time and capacity.”

The fence work around Officers’ Square will still be done over the summer. It’s expected to be completed by the end of September. 

The city has laid off all its non-essential and temporary staff as well as students. 

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