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 Pacific Railway temporarily halted

Technical Safety BC discovers ‘regulatory violations’

BCHL: Bulldogs see fourth straight loss at BCHL showcase

Alberni Valley Bulldogs on the road again this weekend

Port Alberni Black Sheep fall to Surrey Beavers in rugby action

Three tries late in the second half cemented the win for Beavers

Addiction should be treated, not criminalized, say health professionals

Port Alberni Shelter Society forum talks opioid crisis

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Alberni Teens Can Rock band Stranger Than Fiction releases first single

Port Alberni group has been performing since 2016

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read