Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad
City staff list cuts, increases

Council to debate this week what to do with budget

Nathan VanderKlippe
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 16/02) - A list of city staff recommendations to council on the 2002 budget includes cutting seniors and disabled property tax relief and increasing parking meter rates.

The recommendations are given to council as possible areas where they can trim services and expand the city's income pool.

Council must vote on each recommendation for it to be enacted, and some -- such as user fees for the library -- are unlikely to be voted in.

Those decisions will be made when councillors deliberate the budget in two special committee meetings this week. The first was last night, the second is tonight at 6 p.m.

The following is the list of recommended cuts:

- cut in half the number of lapel pins/cards given away on an annual basis (potential savings of $10,000)

- discontinue "Skyline," the city's issue-based publication. The publication was already cut back from four to two issues last year (potential savings of $15,000)

- cut $10,000 from special grants. In past two years, about $10,000 in special grants money was not spent

- reduce the cap for property tax relief to seniors and disabled persons from $2,000 to $1,000 per year (potential savings of $25,000)

- chop line painting for 2002 (potential savings of $35,000)

- cut the city's dive rescue program (potential savings of $14,000)

The total suggested cuts come to $90,000.

The memo also contains a number of ways to increase revenue:

- increase parking meter rates to $1 an hour. The rates have been at $0.75 since 1988. (potential revenue increase of $60,000)

- increasing building permit fees to match Edmonton's (potential increase of $55,000)

- begin charging a $15 rental fee for library meeting rooms (potential increase of $4,500)

- create a $15 per family library user fee (potential increase of $18,000)

- increase ambulance fees (potential increase of $53,000)

The total potential revenue increase from these suggestions is $255,500.