Requests for in-kind city services balloons to more than $100k

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CORNWALL, Ontario - The amount of money community groups are seeking by way of in-kind services from city hall has breached the $100,000 mark for the first time ever.

Last year groups like Waterfest, Lift-Off and Santa Claus parade organizers (among others) were looking for in-kind services that totalled about $76,000.

But that number has ballooned to nearly $110,000 in 2014.

While the figure does not translate into actual cash going out the door to these agencies, the city is still on the hook for paying employee salaries and the like for people who are helping groups set up infrastructure in Lamoureux Park for festivals, or city streets for parades.

Coun. Denis Thibault said helping community agencies with in-kind services is fine, as long as municipal employees aren't accessing city coffers for overtime.

"Then it becomes a direct cost to the city," he said. "But whether you are pushing a broom at the civic complex, or setting up tables in Lamoureux Park it's all part of the person's work day."

Maureen Adams, the city's finance manager, has not yet returned a call for comment.

More to come.

Geographic location: Lamoureux Park, Ontario

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