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REPORTING · 9th April 2015
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council was approving their 2015 ‘spring’ budget on Tuesday, April 7th. This is the final budget with the exception of any changes which Kitimat City Council wishes to make.

Councillor Claire Rattee stated she would like the 2016 budget approved prior to 2016. She stated she sat with Steve Christiansen, Community Treasurer for two hours learning more about the budget. She expressed she was uncomfortable finishing it this late in the year and having to go through it with everything else which is going on in town.

She pointed out they would not be having the same arguments about pre-approvals and the District might be able to get better rates on items if they were purchased earlier in the year.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff said there was a time when they did not start things until later in the year and the staff wanted to start things in December. He also corrected an item which was not pre-approved. Rattee said she found something similar in the budget.

“I was led to believe that when the golf course came to ask for money, that was going to be something to be decided at a later date and I’m kind of upset that I see this just snuck in there,” said Rattee. “I don’t think we’ve had any discussion about it. I didn’t feel when they made their presentation it was the right time to do so and that is one thing that I’m not personally comfortable with.”

“I didn’t sneak it in,” said Christiansen.

He told Council that anything in the budget can be discussed further. He explained it was an approval in principal and before they release the funds, Council would have to have a motion approving it.

Rattee stated it was a part of the operations budget for $220,000. A side note explained the amount of money was increased by $160,000 as of the February 23rd Meeting of Council where the golf course presented.

“It wasn’t requested formally but it came out in the presentation by the Hirsch Creek Golf and Country Club and so I made room in the budget even though it was not agreed to yet. It makes it very hard for me if Council agrees to it after and I’ve not put that much money aside. Just in case,” said Christiansen.

The motion was called and carried. According to Deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen, this means the funds will be set aside for the golf course but will not be released until Kitimat Council makes a decision.