Council votes to keep water, sewer fees as are

At its fifth public budget meeting council began making some budget decisions, but none on taxation.

At its fifth public budget meeting council began making some budget decisions, but none on taxation.

On March 22, all council members present at the meeting voted unanimously to keep water and sewer user fees at their 2011 rates.

The airport’s operating and capital five-year financial plans were approved. Council also agreed to maintain reserve fund levels for both water and sewer at $400,000 — up from the previous level of $250,000.

“We have to be prepared if something happens. Some of our sewer lines are 30-plus years old,” said coun. Surinderpal Rathor before making a motion to raise the reserve levels.

When council began going through the supplemental budget requests, debate ensued and the fact that Coun. Danica Hughes was away meant that often the votes were right down the middle with no one to break the tie.  Items council could not agree on whether to remove or keep and resulted in no decision being made were the traffic light and electrical box wraps at $6,000 and an additional $75,000 for a greenhouse gas planning technician position.

In arguing for the GHG position, coun. Geoff Bourdon implored council to look past the expenditure as an increased level of service, but see the new position as that 10 per cent of spending that gives one access to grants.

In the proposed 2012 budget, the position would be covered by the general fund ($20,000), water/sewer fund ($10,000) and community works fund ($45,000).

Coun. Laurie Walters asked if it could be a one-year position that council could measure results for at the end of the term, while coun. Sue Zacharias suggested the position fits into the guidelines set by the official community plan and the integrated community sustainability plan. “A reasonable amount of the position would focus on energy efficiency and there is a great potential for our city to save money with the position,” said manager of operations Geoff Goodall.

Meanwhile Mayor Kerry Cook said she could not support the position, describing it as an increase in level of service. “It is a new a position at the city. In regards to the last three years we have increased a planning technician in our city. I’m not prepared to support this new position, but would carry on with a summer student position in that department,” Cook said.

Council did keep the budget lines for an upgrade at the works yard for $20,000 and the Business Expansion Attraction Survey Projects for $45,000.

Staff gave some details on work that needs to be done on widening South Lakeside.

They suggested the cost would be $2 million and doing the project in one year would be better than interrupting that area of town for two years.

Cook asked staff to prepare a report on the road project that would include possible funding sources, apart from borrowing funds.

A sixth public meeting is scheduled for March 29 at 7 p.m. when council will be presented an amended five-year-financial plan.

On April 3 the first three readings of the five-year-financial plan bylaw will commence, followed on April 17, with the first three readings of adoption of the five-year-financial plan bylaw.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

A drive-thru restaurant and beer and wine store is being proposed by Broadway Landco Management Ltd. for the former Chemo RV site at 1704 Broadway Ave. South. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Drive-thru restaurant, beer and wine store proposed for Williams Lake

Owners of property at 1704 Broadway Ave. South have applied for a zoning amendment

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read