Draft budget to be unveiled Tuesday
Revelstoke City Council is holding a special meeting at 12:30 pm on Tuesday to unveil its draft financial plan for 2013-2017.
It anticipates a budget of $20.73 million for 2013 with a net surplus of $790,000.
Property taxes are anticipated to increase by an average of 5.18% across the board with utilities increasing by 87.62%.
The document is expected to outline the City’s “challenges to meet increasing demands for services while minimizing or reducing taxation and at the same time Council affirms priorities arising from the City of Revelstoke’s vision as a community.”
The draft financial plan proposes the following 2013 Council priorities:
Efficient Operation of City Programs
- Complete or provide effective support for ongoing programs as directed by Council.
- Set a schedule for reviewing Council programming policies.
- Ensure programs promote a healthy active and inclusive community
- Delivery of services enhances safety and protection of our citizens
Improve Fiscal Policies
- Retain conservative policies that ensure appropriate controls, transparency, operations review, tight control on spending and taxes.
- Initiate quarterly departmental budget review at the committee level.
- Review official council fiscal policies and affirm or amend where appropriate.
- Complete an independent third party operations review (contracted) of at least one City Program.
- Continue to encourage a review of municipal audit with the newly appointed municipal auditor’s office.
- Consider review of all departments by independent consultant subject to budgetary constraints.
- Continue in the quest to establish clear, concise, effective, open and transparent governance.
- Conduct a community satisfaction survey.
- Standardized committee reporting structure.
A major review planned for the Fire Rescue Service
The City is seeking a consultant to review Revelstoke Fire Rescue Service operations, structure, equipment needs and mandate.
“This review will report on the effectiveness and efficiency of the services provided by the Fire Department,” says introduction to the RFP. “The report will include options of service delivery for Council’s consideration. Recommendations on means to improve the overall effectiveness of services in a cost effective manner is sought.”
Among the issues it is expected to address are the following:
Should the Fire Department continue the practice of 24 hour shifts? What are the options and ramifications of making changes to shifts?
Should Revelstoke continue the current practice of staffing with full time professional fire fighters? What are the options and ramifications of making staffing changes in this area?
Is a “paid on call” or other staffing model more effective? What are the options and ramifications of making changes in this area?
Can the Fire Department more effectively utilize volunteer firefighters? If so, is that advisable?
How do the fire services provided by the City of Revelstoke compare to the services provided in comparator communities?
Utilization of the Fire Station. Appropriateness of fire fighting equipment and replacement plans.
Should the City of Revelstoke consider reduction of the level of service for fire protection? What are the key items for Council to consider before contemplating a decision to reduce fire protection services?
What impact does the FUS rating have on local insurance rates? Is there a direct correlation on FUS rating and insurance premiums? Is there a cost benefit to the public by actively improving Fire Infrastructure to lower FUS ratings? Is the FUS a valid independent review of Revelstoke’s Fire Department Services?
Columbia Power reps talk to Council
City will support a Rod & Gun Club move
The Rod and Gun Club, under more pressure to move from the increasingly residential area in Upper Arrow Heights, has asked Council for a letter of support in its dealings with the province.
Specifically it askes the City to publicly support their desire to move the club and its shooting range to an area just west of the Revelstoke Dam and north of the Frisby Ridge Forest Service Road.
It made the request after Club President Gary Krestinsky received a petition from residents in the area who are anxious to see them move.
“We have been in negotiation with FrontCounterBC for almost 5 years on this issue,” Krestinsky said in a letter to Council.
He said the club has met all of the requirements placed up on it, and is awaiting cabinet approval.
“This cabinet approval is policy, not law,” he said.
The club as met with MLA Norm Macdonald and he is lobbying cabinet on their behalf. Support from the City will help the club achieve its goals.
Council agreed with the club’s request.
Skateboarders seek City support
The Columbia Valley Skateboard Association has also asked for a letter of support as it proceeds with its efforts to raise money for a planned skateboard park at Centennial Park.
Click here to read their request, which was granted by Council.
Troubled Golf Course needs BIG money
The Revelstoke Golf Course needs about $592,000 in improvements, renovations and upgrades, City Council was told last Tuesday.
A report by Alan Mason identified about $35,000 in repairs and renos and another $10,500 in plumbing work that needs to accomplished before it can open this spring. On top of that there $547,000 in repairs and upgrades that eventually need to be done.
The first and second floors of the clubhouse, as well as its roof, are real areas of concern. They are weak and some of them are severe.
He said the deficiencies, identified in a report to the City by Bourcet Engineering, need to be done because, since the City owns all of the buildings, it would be liable if anyone was injured.
Besides the structural repairs the kitchen and bar need substantial changes in order to make money.
A number of restaurateurs have attempted to make a living by operating the kitchen over the last three years. The kitchen needs modernization in order to be competitive.
Free forestry talk!
The BC Interior Forestry Museum is sponsoring a free public presentation entitled The Inland Rainforest: our Amazing Backyard by Susan K. Stevenson.
An expert who has written extensively on the ecology of BC’s rainforests, Stevenson will be speaking in the Macpherson Room at the Community Centre on February 21 from 7 until 8:30 pm.
New seniors’ bus shelter proposed