(NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Public invited to join Port Alberni budget discussions

Committee of the whole meeting scheduled for Jan. 20

Port Alberni taxpayers will have a chance to provide feedback on the city’s draft 2020-2024 budget during an upcoming committee of the whole meeting.

Council gave first reading to the 2020-2024 five-year financial plan on Monday, Jan. 13. City staff emphasized on Monday that this is only a draft, and more discussion will take place before the budget has to be adopted in May.

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“First reading is essentially the time where council is introduced formally to the bylaw,” said deputy city clerk Twyla Slonski. “It has staff assign a formal number to the bylaw for reference. At this stage, there is not intended to be any discussion of the bylaw, it’s generally there for you to receive, table, and you’ll make your considerations moving forward.”

Mayor Sharie Minions agreed that this is “a different process” for the city. Usually, city council holds budget discussions then passes first reading. This new process is more like that of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, she added.

Council will look over the budget in the coming months and make changes.

The current draft of the budget shows a tax increase of approximately $102.60 or a 5.2 percent increase per average household ($315,000 as per BC Assessment). This could change, depending on upcoming budget discussions.

A committee of the whole meeting will take place on Monday, Jan. 20, giving members of the public a chance to enter budget discussions. The meeting starts at 4 p.m. in council chambers and you can also watch live online at www.portalberni.ca/streaming-video.

The draft budget can be found online at www.portalberni.ca/budget.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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