This morning council will kick off 5 days of budget discussions. We run a three year budget cycle normally but this time around we are also setting the 2011 budget. The extra year will readjust the 3 year cycle to avoid what we had this year where a new council's first responsibility after getting elected is to deal with three years of budget.
A couple of items that I hope to discuss at the sessions are:
Hiring a Marketing Co-ordinator for the new multiplex (someone needs to start getting sponsorships, lining up companies for the lease spaces and doing pre-sales for memberships. This is a position that will generate revenue for the city.)
Hiring an Environmental Co-ordinator. (Now that the city has an environment committee we need to have some staff to work on the issues the committee will deal with. This position was rejected by a majority of council last year, I hope that will change this year.)
The future of the Dave Barr twinning. (The region needs more ice surfaces but the twinning will cost in the area of $10m - I'm not sure the city has the financial capacity to tackle it though.)
The District Heating project. (This great project could heat major community buildings like the multiplex and the college using the excess heat from the Co-Gen plant at Canfor. It would replace the use of natural gas fired boilers in each building with one centreal system that is getting it's heat from waste wood chips! This project is really in trouble but I'd like to find a way to make it happen - we're going to have to get creative, or have more than a little help!)
I'll post more on the budget over the next couple of days but the sessions are open to the public - if you want to check it out first hand you are welcome to join us!
We'll be at the Holiday Inn from 9 am to 4 pm on Nov 12, 13, 19, 20, 21. Come and see how a budget is made, I'll save you a seat!