City hall spending thousands to pique for interest
The city is spending a pretty good chunk of coin to find out how you want it to spend your chunks of coin.
Council has approved spending $12,600 for public budget-consultation meetings, including an extra $8,000 on an advertising campaign in an effort to get more residents to attend.
The city will hold three evening public meetings at Interior Savings Centre — on Feb. 28, March 6 and March 13.
The extra cash will go toward radio and print ads, email invitations distributed through the city’s contact lists, daily posts and reminders about the meetings using social media and a mayor’s video invitation on YouTube.
The plan is to also record and upload video of each meeting to the city’s website, adding another $3,600 to the cost.
The city had already budgeted about $5,000 for the meetings.
Coun. Donovan Cavers called the extra spending a “very good investment,” while Coun. Arjun Singh said the plan is a good use of funds.
Instead of having the traditional open-mic format, the meetings will include roundtables where councillors will sit and speak to residents.
After each department director reviews their particular budget, the meeting will open to questions.
Prior to the three public meetings, residents are being encouraged to watch, via kamloops.ca on Feb. 14, the introduction of the five-year financial plan.
Preliminary budget estimates have residents looking at a 4.7 per cent tax increase in 2012. That would work out to an additional $75 for the owner of an average-assessed home in Kamloops.
The 4.7 per cent is expected to make up for a $3.9-million shortfall in the city’s general fund, which has grown, in part, from contract obligations.
However, the mayor has said he expects the tax hike to be whittled down to the range of two to 2.5 per cent.