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REPORTING · 3rd January 2013
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council was wrapping up their budget meeting for the 2013 Budget on Wednesday, December 12. The previous day, on the 11th, Municipal Manager Ron Poole had introduced the budget by stating they wanted to give the community time to give Council input. The Community would not have much time to give said input because Council was about to give Pre-Budget Approval to over $1,000,000 in requests.

“What you’ve got in front of you is a recommendation so we can start somewhere in approving grants. For the most part, I would like to approve all the yellow tonight, It would be good going into the new year and letting as many groups as possible know that their funding has been approved in order to operate,” said Poole.

What grants would be approved? The list was long. Council Grants and Travel would be approved for $20,000, Kitimat Arts for Youth would receive $3,500, Kitimat Health Advocacy would receive $5,000, Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club would get $25,000 and the MEMESS Totem Pole Funding would be approved for $2,600.

The motions would also approve the grants for KUTE, The Youth Soccer Club, the Snowflake Fair Grounds, the senior’s programmer, the Victim Services Program, the Flying Club, Student Employment Grants, the Festivals Kitimat Student and the Kitimat Emergency Plan.

Finally, it would approve the grants for the Kitimat Museum and Achieves, Kitimat Public Library and the mount Elizabeth Theatre.

Notably on the list was my Mountain Co-Ops $15,000, the Kitimat Shooting Club would receive a one-time grant, and the Hirsch Creek Golf Winter Club which was to get a special motion. The motion would be to approve $50,000 now and then go into review in the spring of 2013. Martin Gould, director of Kitimat Leisure Services would work with them.

“And that the director of Leisure Services be appointed to work with the Hirsch Creek Golf and Winter Club to develop an operational plan that addresses revenue, a reduction in expenses and increasing membership,” read Poole from the proposed motion.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff divided the motion into two halves so he could declare conflict of interest on the Mount Elizabeth Theatre where his wife works. The motions for pre-approval were called and carried.

A second item which came forward was the Kitimat Community Food Share. Municipal Manager Ron Poole told Council they will give them the grant, with the understanding the grant money might not always be there and they should be looking for places which are affordable.

Feldhoff stated they will need to revisit this one due to the transition the community is going through and people are coming here who are not prepared. He suggested sending strong signals that Council is in support of the request.

Councillor Phil Germuth pointed out they were going to give money to the Food Share, but they were going to give a lot more money to the Golf Couse. Murphy agreed with Germuth and Feldhoff. It was great to help a service club but they also want to step up and support the people with need.

Councillor Rob Goffinet said they were standing behind the food share rent for the coming year. They were just getting clarification on paying double for their rent. Acting Mayor Corinne Scott pointed out they were sharing in the costs which the Community Services program has adopted. Feldhoff stated he did not want the Food Share to have to worry.

At the Regular Meeting of Kitimat City Council on Monday, December 17th, several other items came before Council for Pre-budget Approval totalling just under $1,000,000. The request was for the Student Employment Grants, the New Economic Development Personal, The Radley Park Survey, Riverlodge Ramp, Riverlodge Boiler and the Wood Stave Tank Repair and Replacement.

The first two items were moved, called and carried.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know about remaining items. He thought they had been approved last year, he did not want to approve them a second time. He was told by Municipal manager Ron Poole that any items which were carried over from Last year had to be reapproved.

Radley Park and the Ramp were given preapproval. After a lot of discussion, the boiler was given pre-approval. Councillor Rob Goffinet made a motion to pre-approve the wood stave tank. This was called and carried as well.