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REPORTING · 12th December 2013
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council was halfway through their first of two budget meetings on December 9th. Traditionally, the two largest presentations go to Engineering and Recreation and they were about to present their budgets.

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 Second half of Monday’s meetings.

From Tim Gleig’s Engineering Report

It turns out the Kitimat Landfill was in compliance the entire time, and the Ministry wanted the District of Kitimat to waste money trying to meet requirements which do not apply to it. Regardless, the District is going to undertake a study of the water at the landfill to show if the landfill is having an effect on the water.

From Martin Gould’s Leisure Service Requests

Gould reminded the council that many of the facilities in town are aging. Tamitik Arena is 34 years old, Riverlodge is 35 years old, Radley Park is 43 years old, and Kitimat Ice Rink, which will be celebrating its golden anniversary in the fall of 2014, is 50 years old.

The Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre needs to redo the flooring in the change rooms. The Rock Hard substance which coats the floor is peeling away from the wall. There is concern of water getting under the floor and ruin it further.

Radley Park is getting a face lift. Despite losing 12 campsites over the last few years, there are plans to put in a new road, 10 new campsites, finish the electrical sites, put in a new wash hut and several other improvements. One of the items which need to be replaced is the septic fields so they could put in a sanitation dump there. However, Council asked if the septic could be attached to the city’s sewer system instead, an option which was considered to be more expensive in the long term.

Adding a washroom to one of the smaller change rooms in Tamitik was brought up. When there are mixed hockey games, female players usually find themselves in the smaller change room and have to walk down the hall to use the public bathrooms.

Restoring the cenotaph is a project for 2014. A part of the plan is to add to the wars recognized at the top of the cenotaph.

Finally, Gould reminded Council that Riverlodge is aging and they should consider looking at it if they get money from the Provincial Government.

For further information, such as how the District plans to combat increased hydro rates for street lights, why the Haisla Bridge has a weight limit and a discussion concerning Construction workers making their home at Radley Park, read the longer article.

Also, come back tomorrow for the report on Council’s second meeting, Monday, December 10th when many of the locally funded organizations come to Council and ask for their funding.
Coverage of Budget Meetings
Comment by Corinne Scott on 12th December 2013
Walter you have done an amazing job covering the budget meetings. Good work!