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Costly decisions await new council
The new council, to be formed later this year, already has a lot on its plate – before it’s even been elected.
A recent city staff report serves as a reminder of the list of responsibilities the current councillors have put off for whomever’s on the new council.
The tasks all relate to budget cuts that council has made over the past few years to cope with significant tax revenue losses, most notably from the defunct Elk Falls mill.
The new council – to be elected Nov. 15 – will have to decide on reinstating full funding for the RCMP complement of 43 members as welll as restoring a contribution of an additional one per cent of taxes to the capital works reserve.
Council will also have to debate whether to restore the pre-2012 contributions of $15,000 to the fire small equipment reserve and $180,000 to the fire reserve as well as pre-2011 annual funding of $400,000 to the fleet replacement reserve.
Lastly, the new council will also have to make a decision on reinstating the parks parcel tax to $50. The last two years, council has reduced the tax to $25.
Finance operations supervisor Dennis Brodie had a report in front of council on June 10 which required council to give first and second reading to keeping the parks parcel tax at $25 in 2014.
“Staff are bringing forward the necessary bylaw amendment to support... council during the 2014-2018 financial planning sessions to maintain the parks parcel tax at $25, allowing the new council to weigh the potential restoration of the parcel tax back to its original amount of $50 per parcel against the other decisions to be made during the 2015/2019 financial planning sessions,” he said.
Council is recommending those decisions be made by the new council over a period of three years.