Budget Items Up for Discussion at City Council
Prince George, B.C.- More Officers for the RCMP and a new score clock for the CN Centre will both be discussed by Council this evening at its regular meeting.
The RCMP have been asking for one additional civilian staffer, and three officers this year, and two more in each of the next two. A report from Staff outlines the dollar impact of a revised proposal that presents two scenarios.
In the first scenario, there would be one administrative person hired, and three RCMP officers. Because the RCMP officers wouldn’t likely arrive until September, the total cost for 2016 would be just under $161 thousand boosting the general operating budget by 0.21%
But, having those four ( 3 officers and one administrative ) on board for all of 2017 would boost the tax levy in 2017 by 0.77% or just over $718 thousand dollars..
In the second scenario, staff costed out the impact of hiring one administrative person, and two officers for 2016. In this case, the base budget would be increased by just $132 thousand for 2016, boosting the levy by 0.15%.
Then in 2017 the full cost would jump to $604 thousand , increasing the tax levy by 0.65%.
Also on the agenda tonight, the $390 thousand dollar replacement of the centre score clock at the CN Centre. When it was installed in 2007, it was “state of the art”. But that was then, and this is now, and over the years, the clock has lost some of it’s oomph, with some of the following problems noted for Council’s consideration.
- The pixels on the clock screens are failing, resulting in black dots appearing on the screens,
- square sections of the displays that from time to time either do not work or can only show bright blue, and
- a line of pixels on the right side of each large screen that only show red.
- The clock screens are losing picture brightness and sharpness.
- The video processors and video servers associated with the score clock are outdated, resulting in the loss of video feed on an intermittent basis.
- The LCD monitor on one of the handheld cameras is failing.
- The battery chargers for both handheld cameras are operating at reduced capacity, resulting in challenges to keep the cameras operating during the course of an event.
- The score clock completely failed near the start of the 2014 Cougars season, resulting in the video not being available for a Cougars game. Local technicians were not able to resolve the issue, resulting in the need to fly a technician in from out of town. It took a week to get the video system operating again.
- Similar failures have occurred since the 2014 failure. A system shutdown and re-boot is generally required to get the video score clock operational, usually on short notice prior to the start of the event.
The project was on the capital plan for 2016. Staff say the clock is used by not only the Cougars, but nearly every organization, group or event booked for the CN Centre.
So while Staff want the CN Centre clock and cameras approved in the Capital plan, they are asking Council to hold off on another project.
The Capital plan called for $40 thousand dollars in design work to start on the picnic shelter at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, with hopes a more cost effective proposal ( the original proposal was pegged at $400 thousand) could be developed. But now, staff say the matter should be deferred to 2017 in order to have some consultation with the Lheidli T’enneh on what might make for an appropriate memorial to be incorporated in the design of the shelter.