City’s draft budget draws small crowd

A zero per cent increase in residential taxes passed virtually unnoticed during a presentation on Port Alberni’s draft five-year financial plan, Tuesday night at the Capitol Theatre. So did the fact that industrial taxes will decrease by another $425,000 as the city tries to please Catalyst Paper.

A zero per cent increase in residential taxes passed virtually unnoticed during a presentation on Port Alberni’s draft five-year financial plan, Tuesday night at the Capitol Theatre. So did the fact that industrial taxes will decrease by another $425,000 as the city tries to please Catalyst Paper.

No, the hot button issue of the night was about a proposed nine-week closure of Echo Pool next summer.

Forty or so people showed up for the meeting, roughly half of those making up city staff and media. City manager Ken Watson went over some of the highlights of the five-year financial plan—which is only a draft—then members of the public were given an opportunity to ask questions.

Arnold Begg said a delegation that opposed such a long closure of the pool last year was “totally ignored”. He said people who use the pool for therapeutic and health reasons will lose out if the pool is closed for more than two months in the summer, and said the city should be able to come up with the $60,000 to keep it operating.

Gerry Walerius asked whether the city has set aside money to pay for an increase in salary for local firefighters, and Watson said they have but they won’t know precisely how much they will have to pay until a deal is reached.

The city’s department heads will pitch their budget proposals in a series of public meetings Monday, Jan. 31 (2 and 7 p.m.), Tuesday, Feb. 1 (7 p.m.) and Wednesday, Feb. 2 (2 and 7 p.m.).

Public comment will be accepted until Feb. 9. E-mail ken_watson@portalberni.ca.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Alberni Valley Transition Town talks green planning

March 20 talk features Jack Anderson, speaking of innovative building techniques

Port Alberni’s firefighters learn to save themselves in ground survival training

Specialized training equipment brought in for Ground Survival Program

Port Alberni RCMP have their eyes on impaired drivers

March 17 to 23 is National Impaired Driving Prevention Week

Premier on hand as Paper Excellence finalizes Catalyst Paper purchase

Sale includes Crofton mill, plus mills in Port Alberni and Powell River

Three people deemed heroes after rescuing another in fiery crash on B.C. highway

Two people taken to hospital following head-on collision near Port Alberni

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Cougar on Island might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read