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REPORTING · 11th December 2013
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council sat down to hammer out their budget on Monday, December 9th and Tuesday, December 10th. While Wednesday, December 11th had been set aside to wrap it up, they managed to get through everything in the first two nights.

The budget material is not the most exciting material to sit through, write or read, but it is very important for two reasons. One, it gives a glimpse into how hard the District of Kitimat is working in Kitimat. Two, it tells us where our tax dollars will be spent in the year 2014.

The plan is for a 3% increase to the taxes, or expenditures of $22,628,236. CAO Ron Poole explained The Department heads got together in advance to balance the budget. In 2013, there were not many bidders for projects. For 2014, Council is being asked to give pre-budget approval to some items so they can go out to tender sooner and maybe garner more bids.

Due to the length of the budget meetings, we will be breaking them down into three separate postings on this site and three abridged highlights of the longer articles.

Here are a few highlights from the first half of Monday’s meetings.

From CAO Ron Poole’s Presentation:

Council’s expenditures for 2014 are not set to be as high as they were in 2013. Two budgeted items which will not be repeated in 2014, the 60th anniversary and the moving of the Council Chambers to the college.

From Deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen’s presentation

Under animal control, the crematorium came up. Council made a motion on the table to have staff not look into it any further which was called and carried. Of course, this idea could return to Council again next year.

On the topic of Transit, Northern Health is considering reducing their contribution for the bus to Terrace from $160,000 to $80,000 over the next four years. The District of Kitimat is one of the six organizations which fund this program.

From Rose Klucas’s Presentation on Economic Development

Klucas proposed dipping into the funding for the Retire in Kitimat Campaign to create a Business Retention and Expansion Campaign. While all she has at the moment is an idea, she suggested it could mean working with individual businesses and providing tools to help them run their business.

From Fire Chief Trent Bossence’s Presentation

The Fire Department managed to keep their request to a 2% increase from last year. Great job! The Fire Department is getting requests from Camp Workers to ensure the Rio Tinto Alcan Camp is Fire Safe. The Fire Department has done those inspections and alleviate those concerns.

From Daniel Martin’s Planning Department Presentation

The planning Department has had plenty inquires over the 2013 year. They expect many of the inquires will result in more applications in 2014.

For further information including a conversation on the Handi Dart Service, just what funding the Humane Society is receiving and how the Fire Department is not growing moss on their Canopy to go green, check out the longer budget article.

Come back tomorrow when we will be posting the second half of Monday’s meeting with more highlights. The second half delves into Recreation and Engineering.
Budget and Council
Comment by Corinne Scott on 12th December 2013
I look forward to seeing your name on the ballot next fall, Larry!
Hold The Line ..... Budget
Comment by Larry Walker on 11th December 2013
So they are looking at a 3% tax increase but remember this will be coupled with a property assessment increase (God knows how much). Last year our overall taxes went up over 8% and we have to live on a fixed income. Be very careful as this is an election year and maybe it is time to thrown out the old and bring in the new, if you know what I mean.