(NEWS FILE PHOTO)

BUDGET 2020: Public invited to talk budget with City of Port Alberni

Evening eTown Hall meeting will take questions, comments from residents

The City of Port Alberni is inviting residents to participate in its next budget meeting.

An eTown Hall Budget Meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. While the event will take place in council chambers at city hall (4850 Argyle Street), the eTown format will allow for comments and questions to be received from those in attendance, as well as those viewing from the comfort of their home.

The meeting will focus on the City’s draft 2020 – 2024 budget, which was introduced in November 2019. The city has since held eight meetings to discuss the budget in detail. The proposed taxation rate now sits at 4.3 per cent.

READ MORE: City of Port Alberni department heads asked to justify costs

Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions pointed out that the budget is “a lengthy process” because the decisions will impact Port Alberni for years to come.

“It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to build the preliminary budget, which is based on the stated goals of council, the city’s corporate strategic plan and staff recommendations,” she said. “Once the preliminary budget is drafted, it enters into a review and amendment process through committee of the whole meetings and regular meetings of council. It is in this space that the public helps council shape the outcome.”

She added that she would like to see “a high level of public engagement” on March 10.

“By setting the meeting in the evening hours and making it interactive through social media, we hope community members will voice their opinions, suggest new ideas, and ask questions,” she said. “This is an essential step in the process and one that council and the city greatly value.”

Residents can participate in the following ways:

  • In-person – All are welcome to attend the meeting in council chambers at city hall. Participants attending the meeting who wish to ask questions or provide comments will be invited to comment via the microphone for broadcasting purposes.
  • Online – The meeting will be broadcast live at www.portalberni.ca/streaming-video. Online participants can submit questions through one of the following channels: email, Facebook (post questions on the event page) and Twitter (tweet questions and comments to @cityportalberni or by using the hashtag #BudgetPA2020).

Questions can be submitted online prior to and/or during the meeting. Question period will open on Monday, March 9 at 3:30 p.m. Due to time limitations, if there are several similar questions, only one may be put forward. Every effort will be made to address as many questions as possible.

For a copy of the draft Five Year Financial Plan, visit www.portalberni.ca/budget.

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