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October 27, 2017 7:08 pm

Budget Talks Underway

Monday, January 30, 2017 @ 4:02 PM

How  the City spends  its dollars- image courtesy City of Prince George.

Prince George, B.C. – The proposed budget is now under consideration  by Mayor and Council for Prince George.

While the overall budget  calls for  an increase  of 2.73%  in the  amount needed  to maintain services at current levels,  there are requests for  budget enhancements.  Those enhancements will be discussed  at Wednesday’s  budget consultation.  Wednesday’s session will focus on the capital plans.

In the opening presentation to Council, Director of Finance Kris Dalio  pointed out  snow removal  during 2016 only used $4.3 million of the available $7 million.  That means, there is now  $2.7 million in the snow reserve to handle  any future major snow event.   The budget calls for  no change in the snow levy,  so a further $7 million will be available for  the full  year for  snow removal.   There is also no  proposed change to the General infrastructure reinvestment  levy,  or the  road rehabilitation  levy.

There was plenty of public consultation on  the development of this budget,  including the TalkTober  neighbourhood discussions,  and an online survey plus the opportunity offered at the beginning of each  budget meeting.

The online survey indicated  roadways and lighting were  the number one priority  for those who filled out the survey,  while  those who attended TalkTober  placed  Parks and Trails as their  number one concern.  But City Manager  Kathleen Soltis says neither of the  public consultations produced results that were statistically  valid, the  information is for Council’s  consideration only.



Ah gee! A pie chart, now we are in for it! Get the shivers everyone I see these things! Too many fingers in the pie if ya get my drift.

They forgot the segments stating corruption and wasteful spending.

Costs for snow removal are taken out of normal taxes. This year on my tax notice there was a line item called “Snow Control Cost Reserve.” It is my understanding that this was put in place to cover shortfalls in years that they run out of funds in the pot and are forced to scramble and shuffle money around.

On the face of it might seem like a good idea but I can forsee that at some point the separate line item will become “Snow Control Levy” as a way to shift snow control expenses out of general expenditures. I my case it would represent a 5 or 6% tax increase.

So the question is how much money does the city want in the “Snow Control Cost Reserve.” going forward and will this line item disappear once the pot is full?

2.7 in the reserve from 2016 budget surplus plus whatever was raised in this years property taxes would account for a fair chunk of change. Can I expect this separate charge to vanish from our 2017 tax bill?

    Both the Snow Control reserve, and the Road Rehabilitation Reserve are single line items on your tax bill for these services. If you read the story above you would see that they spent $4.3 Million of the available $ 7 Million for snow removal in 2016. Probably something similar for 2017.

    Also the Road Rehab levy is for $5 Million per year, with $2 Million added from the Federal Government Infrastructure (Gas Tax) fund, for a total of $7M.

    I agree, if we dont keep our eye on these single line items, the money when not used will be siphoned off to some other project,.

it is amazing that they tell you about the surveys after they are over, not when they are being done..

    You should visit the cities website on a regular basis information about surveys are posted there I’ve taken part of several of them.

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