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HomeNews Quesnel residents are invited to an open budget meeting tonight

 Quesnel residents are invited to an open budget meeting tonight

   Quesnel City Council wants to know what people think about this year’s preliminary budget.
   A special open meeting to discuss the budget will take place tonight (Tuesday) at 5-30 in Council Chambers at City Hall.
   City Councillor Mitch Vik, also the Finance Chair, says they will be there with open ears and an open mind.
   “Director (Kari) Bolton will give a presentation on the broad strokes of the budget.  It will break down all of our categories, fundamentals of the budget, and then the public is welcome to come up and ask questions.”
   Vik says they are always looking for ways to get public input.
   “We do do an online survey and all of our finance meetings, the bulk of them are public, people are welcome to come out.  But we needed to find another way this year, and it’s been some time since we’ve done a consultation like this, so I am really glad that Council has been able to come together, and we’ve got staff in the room, and we’re ready to answer questions and share our preliminary budget for 2024.”
   Vik says right now they are looking at a tax increase along the lines of last year.
   “We started with a very big number that was creeping up to 8 percent and that’s a difficult number, a lot of challenges.  Through our work with FSCA (Financial Sustainability and Audit Committee), we’ve found some savings and we’re basically working at a number now, it’s about the same as last year, it’s about 5.6 percent.”
   The increase was 5.3 percent last year.
   Vik says the driving force behind the challenges they face this year is inflation at roughly $900.000.
   Despite all of these numbers, Vik says nothing is cast in stone.
   “No, absolutely not.   So the presentation with the budget particulars and then after the question period we will move into the actual draft and Council will have an opportunity to ask questions as well.  Certainly, tonight is not the night when this will be voted on.”
   Vik says the plan would be to take the feedback that they get from the public and then work on things further.
   He says the budget won’t go to Council for final adoption until the March 5th meeting.
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