A public budget consultation, hosted by Terrace City Council, was cut short

Hillary Johnson

A public budget consultation, hosted by Terrace City Council, was cut short yesterday due to a lack of attendees. The meeting's purpose was to allow members of the community to express their concerns or provide any ideas or suggestions to the council. Terrace Mayor, Carol Leclerc says they are currently planning a 7.4 percent tax increase, much of it being associated with pressures caused by increased economic activity in the area. Leclerc attributes the shortage of attendees to the community's trust in their elected official’s current plan.

"We had one gentleman here who had sent in a written response, he just wanted to come and partake in the meeting. We had our staff out in full force to answer any questions that the public may have, but when nobody shows up, the message to me with that is that we're on track, we are doing what people want. Nobody was coming out saying, "Hey you guys, what about this or what about that? Have you done this or done that?"

Leclerc says the city received 16 written submissions, most of which were in support of the current budget plan. Some comments included the removal of flower baskets from the budget, due to increased cost along with a misunderstanding about a school program.

"There were some concerns about the comments projected in the media about Suwilaawks after school care program that the city administered the payroll for and because that program stopped in 2019, it doesn't show up in the 2020 budget. So it looks like it’s something we are cutting, but in actual fact, we are not cutting anything. We are just not administering that, and if the school were to have that school day program and they needed us to do payroll, we would certainly support them again."

Due to the significant influx of people coming into the community, Terrace has experienced increase levels of homelessness and criminal activity which lead the city to make room in the budget to hire additional public service workers.

"So we are looking at two bylaw officers, part time bylaw support staff, an RCMP member, two firefighters, a parks supervisor and some kind of admin support for our CAO."

The final budget will be finalized and implemented this coming March.

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