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REPORTING · 13th January 2015
Walter McFarlane

Kitimat City Council began to address the 2015 Budget before the public on Monday, January 12th at their Committee of the Whole Meeting.

“This is going to be our first crack at looking at the 2015 Budget,” said CAO Ron Poole. “What we decided to do at this meeting is give you a really good idea of where we’re at with the budget.”

Council was asked to take notes and ask questions as the budget would be coming forward at a later meeting.

Treasurer Steve Christiansen informed Council that the budget had been created using a 3% increase. He explained this increase was in keeping to a five year plan which was developed three years ago. This meant cutting between 2-3 million dollars from the budget.

An estimated $1.7 million dollars is planned to be given out in grants to local community organizations. These organizations will be presenting to Council on Tuesday, January 13th.

The evening was also an opportunity for the new Councillors to become more informed about the municipal budgeting process. Councillor Larry Walker had a lot of questions about how and why certain things were done the way they were.

One of his questions was whether or not the District was making revenue off of the groups they were giving grants to. He was told the District of Kitimat was providing a grant to these groups in exchange for them providing a service to the town.

“Their revenue isn’t coming back to us, it’s going to them as well,” said Christiansen.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff explained the Council has decided to fund groups like K.U.T.E. and similar organizations because there would be a cost to the future stability of Kitimat. He stated it was a good question.

Christiansen added sometimes, if these groups did not do it, it was something they could have to contract out themselves at a higher cost.

Council was told that these taxes make up 87% of the District of Kitimat’s revenues. They were walked through where the other revenues would come from, the supplementary budget, the grants and the reserves.

But why read about the budget when you could watch the meeting take place. Click this paragraph to go to our video page where you can watch the Budget Process.