Monday night's Prince Rupert City Council session provided for the first update on the 2021 Budget consultation process from the City's Financial Officer, with Corinne Bomben providing an overview of the engagement of the community to this point for the Financial plan document.
The portion of the Monday night session reserved for the CFO allowed for a short snapshot of the Budget Presentation delivered on March 8th, and as the CFO noted in the preamble to her report of Monday, owing to the Public Health Orders currently in place related to COVID, the City has asked that residents express their thoughts on the Budget by way of email or phone.
When it comes to that community response to the opportunity to comment, her report seems to indicate that it has been one that has seemingly not overloaded the email server or phone lines into City Hall.
"As at today's deadline ... 4 o'clock there were no comments or questions received to relay to Council during this particular Budget Presentation"
To that theme, Ms. Bomben observed that the city website page had seen 48 views of the project, but to date, no one has offered up their version of a balanced budget through it.
Councillor Nick Adey followed up on that theme by calling on the public to become involved in the process to help guide Council with their Budget review.
"I was just going to encourage people to make the 'No comments' characteristic of this part of the process go away ... we need to hear from the public I know that it's very difficult for us as a group to determine any changes that would need to be made, or any directional decisions that need to be made without it. So in view of the inconvenience of COVID and the restrictions we are under I really encourage members of the public that are interested to make the effort to make a comment because it certainly helps to give the process more integrity"
You can review the City's Budget information here, and take part in the Budget simulation project from this link.
Should you wish to take up the suggestion from Councillor Adey towards participation in the process, the details of how to do so and what the deadline is can be found below.
The next update from the CFO will come as part of the Regular Council session on April 12.
One of the key notes from the Budget presentations to date has been the reminder for homeowners of the change in place now towards claiming the Homeowner grant, with the process now handled by the provincial government and not through application at City Hall at tax time.
You can explore more on the topic and apply for your Home Owner Grant from the provincial website link here.
Ms. Bomben's Presentation from Monday can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive starting at the 31 minute mark.
For more notes on the the Budget Process see our Archive page here.