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October 27, 2017 7:08 pm

Budget Deliberations Start at City Hall

Monday, January 30, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C.- This afternoon,  the first of two days of scheduled budget discussions will start for  Mayor  and Council  of the City of Prince George.

This year,  the City is looking at an overall  operating budget of $128.8 million dollars.   While the City  does get revenue from other sources,  such as  a share of the traffic fine revenue, land sales, and 10% of net  profit from the Casino,  the bulk of the dollars comes from  taxation.    This year,  the  City is looking at  needing   $2,615,729.00 more dollars (or 2.72%)  from the taxation  revenue stream  in order to provide  services at the current level.

There will also be a need to  look at  requested enhancements, which would see that 2.72%  increase.

As is the case every year,  the actual  increase in  taxes to be paid by  property owners will  depend on the assessed values of properties, and  what share  each  different class of properties  will bear.

Mayor Lyn Hall says  the real  challenges this year  are on the capital  side of the  budget even though the dollars needed for major projects such as the  replacement of the Four Seasons Pool and  Fire Hall #1 would not be required  in this  fiscal year “What’s important for us, is that  the planning  needs to begin through this budget cycle.”

Operationally,   Mayor Hall  doesn’t see any major stress factors “I think the operational budget is pretty straight forward.  One of the things that may happen,  depending on what we  do with the roads budget,  if we  take some  of the dollars out of that budget and  put it towards  parks and sidewalks.”   Staff are recommending   $2 million of the $ 7 million dollars for  the roads budget be  earmarked for  sidewalk and park upgrades.

There is no proposed change to  the snow levy,  ($7 million dollars,)  or the General Infrastructure Reinvestment levy.

Increases are expected in the  Police Services  budget  to allow  for  a  few more officers, and  a pay  raise which  is expected to kick in this year.

The first session is set to start at 3:30 this afternoon  with  15 minutes set aside for public input.   The meeting will take a recess at 5 p.m. and reconvene at 6:00  with another  public input session  of 15 minutes  before Council gets down to  examining the balance of  departmental budgets.

The second meeting,  which will examine the Capital  budget plan,  is set for Wednesday.



Here we go again! More police officers? Okay, let’s see some beat officers downtown! No more funding for social services, there are enough services as it is. This might be a negative to some people, but you need to draw the lines somewhere. If I am getting another tax increase I would like to see decreases in some areas to compensate us paying more every year!

    I thought we already had 4 officers dedicated to the downtown area?

Need more revenue thru taxation … but yet the city is offering a the new downtown hotel tax concessions for 5 years ….. time for these large corporation to pay their share too!!!

BH should be along in a minute to refute your common sense

Well first off…stop any more funding towards downtown revitalization…it’s taking care of itself.. also close any accounts that have money hidden away for the PAC and put that into general revenue..

Please just be smart with our tax dollars..look into the future..plan for upgrades, replacement cost,maintenance costs etc.. there should be no big surprises…

This is the usual **shell** game. We are already paying taxes for sidewalks and parks. To suggest that we take money out of the Road Maintenance budget, for sidewalks and parks is bogus. The City just finished in the past few years convincing us how we need this money for roads and now want to skim it off for something else. Then a few years down the road (pun intended) they will want to increase the road budget again.

People are getting sick and tired of this constant increase in taxes and the less than honest reasoning behind it. We are *OVERTAXED*. Seems City hall cannot get the message.

The time has come for the City Managers, Mayor, and Council to start to take about decreases in the budget. ie; A minimum of 3% decrease in every department. If the Managers cannot find this money in their budgets (without threatening taxpayers with service cuts) then they should start looking a another place to be employed.

It is not the sole responsibility of the taxpayers of a municipality to continue to pay increases in taxes for the sole purpose of making life easier for those on the City payroll. Its time they all started to earn the **big** money we pay them.

    Should read to talk about decreases, not take

    That is what Shari Green ran on – 10 percent reduction in departments and a core review

    What we ended up with was a core review (around 400k down the drain) and more user pay fees. Did not touch the city budget on anything or reduce departments and taxes still went up

    They have a great gig, don’t pay the tax they get your house

I’ll give a thumbs up for this

The majority of the budget is fixed because it pays for City staffing, fire and police. They should get rid of feelgood stuff like Tourism PG and economic development, but I couldn’t see that happening.

Really? The City needs an additional 2.6 million to simply provide the current level of service? Something doesn’t add up.

Every year they need 2-3 million more, tax payers are good for it.

    Speaking of “snow levy” was there any money left over last year? And where did that money go? Will there be extra costs associated with the make work project sweeping the streets in January?

    Where did the money go from the sale of Ron Brent Park?

Unfortunately servicing debt will not win elections.But new pools and fire halls will.

The 79 cents per day (!) increase of my pension isn’t mine to keep after all!

    Nope! The 60 million dollars in salaries for city employees has to come from someone’s pocket.

Time to remove some managers from city hall…and some fluff positions..

If our mayor and council really want to show us they are trying to be wise with our money then start by cleaning up city hall..

    I agree with the fluff. Too top heavy just like the gov’t. Need to thin the herd out!

I sure hope the City doesn’t take the $2M away from roads and puts it towards parks. It wasn’t too long ago we had some of the worst roads in BC if not Canada. Yes, we have made some improvements, but there is still a long way to go. We need that $7M for a few more years to really have a good base that gives present citizens and new citizens a good asset that makes PG a nice City.

I do agree with a bit more money for sidewalks, but lets not get out of control. I believe the current sidewalk budget is $400K/yr. Perhaps add another $250K and that’s a great increase.

The City should be cutting back on things we do not need like a Park Downtown, is that still on their agenda?

    Geez I hope not, just another place for the homeless to hang their hats and needles out along with litter.

    Money is already there for it, think the federalies or provinceralies are paying for most of it. We just have to pay to remove it later

Let’s hope they don’t waste any more money painting those stupid little bikes in the “shared” bike lanes. They just painted them in the fall and they are pretty well gone now.

Nevermind the parks and Bike lanes , we have sewer and water lines breaking or ready to break .How about we get proactive and start fixing before they break ?

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