TORONTO - City staff have slapped a $106 million price tag on last month’s ice storm, which knocked out power for thousands of Toronto Hydro customers and wreaked havoc on Toronto’s trees.
Coupled with the estimated $65 million cost of the massive July rain storm, bureaucrats estimate the City of Toronto got hit with $171 million in storm-related costs last year. Now they want council to ask the federal and provincial governments to provide financial aid.
Council meets Friday to debate asking for an unspecified amount of storm-related financial assistance.
Along with the request for cash, city staff also recommended that council urge the province to declare Toronto a “disaster area.” The move would make the city eligible for the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program.
City Manager Joe Pennachetti said the city is working with other GTA municipalities hit by the ice storm to ask the province for help. He estimated the whole region could be looking at shouldering up to $250 million in ice storm costs.
“We all feel strongly that there needs to be something that assists us in regards to this,” Pennachetti said.
“As a group of municipalities, we’re arguing that we need assistance — this is very big for us. We can’t afford it.”