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City review suggests 113 ways to save money

Mayor Rob Sawatzky
April 22, 2013 - 5:04 PM

One hundred and thirteen: the number of ways an accounting firm has suggested the City of Vernon could trim its spending.

Mayor Rob Sawatzky says some options in the core services review by KPMG—which is costing the city $80,000— could be controversial. Others are already in effect.

"Two thirds of the 113 are already opportunities we've dealt with through our budget process, or they're the subject of processes currently underway," Sawatzky says.

Sawatzky says the 85 page report contains a mixture of big picture changes, as well as smaller ones.

"It's reassuring to see the work and planning we've been undergoing in the last year and a half is actually addressing some of the things they (KPMG) have identified," Sawatzky says.

In an 85 page report, KPMG suggests a big picture saver involving amalgamation of Greater Vernon. Sawatzky says this has been a difficult move in the past.

"You need the cooperation of your community neighbours and impetus and cooperation from the provincial government," Sawatzky says. "We haven't had cooperation from the province, and we're trying to improve on that."

KPMG also suggested changes to how the city disposes of its waste water. "We're the only community in the valley, and one of few in Canada that sends its completely treated waste water onto land, and spends over a million dollars a year to do it, rather than returning it to the water system from which we took it," Sawatzky says.

The review says Vernon could save money by better streamlining its transit services.

"It would actually be cheaper to use a taxi saver program," Sawatzky says. "Buses are tough on our roads."

KPMG has also made recommendations for city staffing, but those are being kept in-camera at the moment.

Council will discuss the review at its next meeting, May 13.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call (250)309-5230.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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