Money cut from budget

I attended the sold-out TRU Gala last weekend, and it was an incredible event.

I attended the sold-out TRU Gala last weekend, and it was an incredible event.

This is a great show of support for Williams Lake’s university, and a successful fundraiser for local scholarships and bursaries. Hats off to Brian Garland and the TRU Grit group and gala co-chairs David Hall and Betty Turatus. I look forward to this new annual event. I want to congratulate safer communities co-ordinator Dave Dickson, who is one of 34 British Columbians to receive a 2012 B.C. Community Achievement Award. Dave has been instrumental in helping to reduce crime, encouraging volunteerism, and he is a true example to us all. This award is very well deserved. And congratulations to Amy Penny, a city lifeguard/instructor and graduating high school student, who has just earned a scholarship from the Lifesaving Society. I’ve known Penny for a long time, and it’s no surprise the Lifesaving Society’s scholarship committee found her to be its strongest applicant this year. Penny has consistently been a top academic achiever and a well-rounded and motivated student.

Brian Battison of Taseko Mines was the guest speaker at last week’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon, and gave us an update on New Prosperity and Gibraltar. He showed a video on the importance of mining, and I encourage everyone to take a look at it on Taseko’s Facebook page.  The budget process is wrapping up, with council giving the first three readings to the five-year financial plan Tuesday night. We cut $350,000 from the operating budgets, which help offset $253,000 in increases from the province for our RCMP detachment. We also cut $1.76 million from the capital budget, which helps position us to take on the $2 million project to improve South Lakeside Drive next year without any long-term borrowing. There will also be no increase to water or sewer rates in 2012. The tax revenue increase is 3 per cent, but that does not mean a 3 per cent increase to all taxpayers. Tax rates and distribution are next on the budget agenda.

Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.