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Sechelt’s budget update

Sechelt’s budget update

A staff request for a delayed 2021 budget schedule is to be discussed at Sechelt’s council meeting on Jan. 20. Once approved by council, dates for budget meetings and events are to be posted on Sechelt.ca.
Last November, council endorsed a timeline for this year’s financial plan that had a number of public meetings slated for dates in December and January. While those meetings never happened, an initial review of the budget process along with a presentation of staff and community 2021 spending requests was completed late last year. Due to what staff explained to the Local were “delays related to scheduling with council over the past month,” new dates for the next steps in budget development are being proposed.
The Jan. 27 committee of the whole meeting is the tentative date identified to present operating and capital budgets for the municipality’s sewer service. That is to be followed by meetings on Feb. 13 and dates yet to be announced to debate the general operating budget and capital expenditure program.
As part of its public engagement on work plans and budgets, the District is gathering input from citizens about its operations through surveys on its website. The current survey relates to Parks Department services and costs.
In a press release dated Jan. 14, Mayor Darnelda Siegers stated, “Citizen input helps us make decisions during the budget process.” The release encourages citizens to participate in the budget process by reading information on the District website, taking surveys, and participating in future community meetings.
Under the proposed new 2021 budget timeline, an online public session on the draft 2021 budget is being planned for in late March. Staff are recommending that council members be available at that event to respond to questions from attendees.
The municipality has until May 15 to approve a five-year financial plan and 2021 taxation rate bylaws. Adjustments to sewer rates and solid waste disposal fees, if required, must also be approved by that date.
Connie Jordison

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