Area D expansion, downtown study top list of Campbell River council expenses

Council spent several thousands of dollars on the Area D expansion issue last year, according to financial documents released by the city.

A report outlining how much money from council’s contingency account was spent and what that money was spent on was issued by city staff last Friday.

In 2013, the biggest expense was $75,000 to hire a consultant to study the feasibility of the city extending its southern boundary to take in northern Area D homes and hook them up to the city’s sewer service.

Not far behind was $50,000 for a downtown and Campbellton charrette – a series of meetings to map solutions to improving both areas. The first step of the downtown charrette, a public participation session, took place Nov. 12 and 13 at Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre.

Council also handed out $20,005 to the Maritime Heritage Centre and $20,000 for Spirit Square decorations and lighting. A further $18,201 was shelled out for mayor and council travel. In total, $247,266 was spent in 2013 from council contingency, leaving $8,234 in the account.

Council contingency exists to satisfy unexpected funding requests that come up throughout the year after the budget has already been adopted.

During council’s financial planning meeting on Dec. 9 council agreed to allocate $150,000 of the annual Gaming Fund revenues to council contingency this year.

Coun. Moglove suggested at that meeting that council discuss adopting a policy or guideline for the use of council’s contingency.

In 2012, council tried to stay away from relying on its contingency and spent just $4,000 of its $45,500 account balance. The Accessible Wilderness Society, which is trying to build an accessible resort at Robert’s Lake was given $600 in 2012 while the Royal Canadian Legion was awarded $400 for Remembrance Day. The big ticket item was Campbellton neighbourhood planning opportunities which cost $3,000 from council contingency.

In 2011, council spent $97,239 of its $150,000 balance. The most expensive item that year was $21,869 for Rivercorp CEO expenses.

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