Council waits to complete budget

Williams Lake city council has finished its pre-budget public meetings and is now waiting for the city’s year-end financials.

Williams Lake city council has finished its pre-budget public meetings and is now waiting for the city’s year-end financials to finalize next year’s budget, Mayor Walt Cobb said.

“The financials have to be done by the end of this month,” Cobb told the Tribune Monday. “Then we will know if there are surpluses or overruns from last year so we can adjust our budget accordingly.”

Ahead of finalizing the 2015 budget council has, however, approved three capital expenditures.

They are $1,250,000 for road renovations, and $120,000 for the installation of an Avgas Tank at the airport.

Council has also pre-approved $100,000 for a new asphalt recycler for patching and the decision will go to a poll of council.

“We can’t get parts for the old one,” Cobb said of the asphalt patcher. “Because of the weather conditions right now with the freezing and thawing you can see what’s happening to the roads.”

While council has budgeted $100,000 for the patcher, the director of municipal services Gary Muraca told council that he can get one for less than that, Cobb added.

Asphalt recyclers make it possible to patch potholes anytime rather than having to wait until the end of May when asphalt plants normally are up and running, Muraca said.

“Ideally you want to put hot mix asphalt into the potholes. The one we’re looking to purchase is diesel powered and it basically has a flame that takes old asphalt or millings and heats it up.”

During January and February, the city’s finance committee has held meetings at city hall chambers on Thursday to discuss the budget.

At a budget meeting in January, Coun. Jason Ryll made a motion that council approve a zero per cent increase in salaries for council stipends for the 2015 and 2016 budget years, and a zero increase in management salaries for the 2015 budget year.

Presently the stipend for a councillor is $15,240 per year and for the mayor it’s $43,687.92.

Ryll’s motion was adopted at the last regular council meeting unanimously. Councillors Ivan Bonnell and Sue Zacharias were absent from the meeting.