February 26, 2014 - 10:15 AM
KAMLOOPS - If you have ideas for what needs to be — or doesn't need to be — part of the city supplemental budget this year, step up and speak out Tuesday at the final public 2014 budget meeting.
The nearly $2.4 million in requests coming before council include $260,000 to move forward in the planning stages for a performing arts centre, $250,000 towards the Kermode Bear habitat at the B.C. Wildlife Park and $750,000 towards pedestrian upgrades on Todd Road, accounting for over half the funds staff is asking be allocated in the 2014 budget.
Staff has also asked council to put $250,000 aside this year and $500,000 every year going forward for the active transportation fund. These funds are intended to help pay for future trails projects outlined in the Sustainable Kamloops Plan such as the Summit Overpass and Peterson Creek Trail.
Two meetings were held in the fall to discuss city service levels, new requests and suggested changes. The city employed a round table format where staff from each department are on hand to discuss the items in their part of the budget. That same format will be used in the final budget meeting Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Last year an average of 35-50 people showed up to each meeting, though more interacted through social media, sent in emails or dropped off letters as well.
The meeting runs from 7-10 p.m. at the Interior Savings Centre and will begin with an overview from the finance department. All feedback will be collected for council to consider prior to making any final decisions in March.
The tax hike currently sits at close to five per cent with all the supplemental items included but several councillors have already let it be known they plan on cutting back that hike as much as possible again this year, which means the March 25 meeting could be a long one. The final budget is set to be ratified April 8.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014