At City Hall
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 06:00 am
City council got one of its first looks at a budget item on Monday night when it received administration’s proposed changes to charges for municipal fees, rates, fines and penalties.
Council will debate and vote on the changes when budget deliberations begin next month.
According to Anne Victor, the city’s manager of financial services, a minimum increase of three per cent will be applied to compensate for inflation as well as trends and market rates. That means that, at face value, the increases will bring in additional revenue of $688,900.
The increase applies to most charges under the city’s different bylaws, from the cost of a plumbing permit to an alarm system fee.
Council will officially receive the 2013 budget from city manager Patrick Draper on Oct. 29, at which time it will also receive the proposed changes in fees, rates, fines and penalties. It will vote on the bylaws for which rates or fines have been changed on Nov. 26.
Back to committee
A policy for a legacy program stemming from the 2011 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Art Awards Gala will be returned to the steering committee for some changes.
The Young Artists Legacy Program was developed by the steering committee for the gala with the $19,000 surplus from the event that was placed in reserve, as well as a $1,000 annual contribution from the city.
The program is designed to help young artists in their careers by providing financial help for training, education or other career advancement opportunities.
But Coun. Cathy Heron asked for the policy to be sent back to the committee for revision. She and other councillors found some of the phrasing, such as a reference to “other similar expenses,” too vague. Heron also noted there was no maximum amount specified in the policy that could be handed out annually.
“I think a $500 maximum should be in there,” Heron said. “I don’t want to see it all go to one person.”
Council’s last town hall meeting of 2012 is coming up early next month with an afternoon, mid-week get together.
The third of three scheduled sessions will be held Oct. 3 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Fountain Park Pool in meeting room 1.
Previous town halls have been held on weekend mornings and weekday evenings.
Under a change to the terms of reference passed earlier this month, the deputy mayor, who chairs the town hall meeting, is responsible for setting the agenda. For the previous two town halls, council relied on a predominantly “open-mike” format, which let the people who attended guide the discussion.
Roughly 15 to 20 people have attended each of the previous two meetings.