Council gave first three readings to this years budget bylaw this week.
Jim Bauer told council that staff received and is processing a number of questions since council finalized the budget last month, and they have been posting answers on shapeyourcitypenticton.com.
“We are continuing to work through and respond to those. I would just suggest for everyone to stay tuned and watch the website as more information is being provided,” said Bauer. “None of the questions raised would warrant any changes to the budget or require us to delay its approval. That is why we are bringing forward the bylaw.”
Bauer, noted that both he and CEO. Peter Weeber are new to the city, and though council had praised their work, they planned to continue to improve their process.
“We are looking at it as a learning experience,” said Bauer.
Budget analyst Deb Clipperton summed up the changes to the 2017 budget made during three days of discussion with council: a $4,000 increase to transit, $67,238 to municipal grants and a $10,000 increase to other governments, along with increasing the projected gaming revenue by $100,000.
Decreases include cutting the training budget by $50,000, economic development by $50,000, the Public Art Reserve Trasfer by $18,000 and the RCMP budget by $45,000.
“The net of that is $181,762,” said Clipperton. “We see a 4.63 tax per cent in crease in this bylaw. If your assessment did not change, you will see a 4.36 per cent tax increase. If your assessment changed, you will need to reflect that in your calculations.”
Couns. Helena Konanz and Andre Martin were the only votes against proceeding with the budget, which is expected to have its final reading at the next regular meeting.