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City officials tackle 2011 budget

February meetings give public opportunity to comment on finances

City of Powell River staff is expected to present a provisional 2011 budget to council during the week of January 24.

Council has asked staff to complete the budget process earlier than in the past. During the fall, department heads prepared capital and operating budget requirements and submitted them to Dave Douglas, director of financial services. A draft budget has been prepared for each department and these will be reviewed by the department manager, council portfolio holder, Stan Westby, chief administrative officer, and Douglas over the next couple of weeks.

Council will hold a series of committee-of-the-whole budget meetings during the month of February, said Councillor Chris McNaughton, who holds the finance portfolio. “Community members will have an opportunity to provide comment at the end of each meeting,” he said. “The community is also invited to present written submissions concerning the city’s budget, revenue opportunities, service improvements and taxation to”

Staff will complete the five-year financial plan and budget documents during March. The city will present the five-year financial plan and 2011 budget to the public during the week of April 4. Budget documents will be available to the public at least seven days in advance of the budget meeting, said McNaughton. “The earlier release of the finance documents is a result of requests from community members who attended last year’s budget presentation,” he said.

The financial plan and budget will be completed during April and council will adopt both by the statutory deadline of May 15, McNaughton added.

Stephanie Cadieux, minister of community, sport and cultural development, granted the city $75,000 to conduct a service review. McNaughton said he expects the review will be tendered in the next week or so and will run parallel to the 2011 budget preparation. “I am hopeful some of the outcomes of the review can be incorporated into the 2011 budget,” he said.