The future of Port McNeill was on the agenda at the town council meeting, March 21. At the meeting, council gave first reading to their Financial Plan Bylaw. Every year municipalities must prepare a Five Year Financial Plan. The plan and accompanying annual property tax bylaw must both be passed before May 13.
According to the Town of Port McNeill’s March 21 agenda, the process starts with “discussions with different department heads who are asked to estimate the cost of operating their department for the 2016 year based on their operating experience in 2015 and their knowledge of anticipated cost changes. Expenditures should be budgeted at levels that would provide the same level of service as in 2015.”
Chief Financial Officer Dan Rodin said the financial reports included in the Agenda are “just trying to give us some structure.”
Public Works Foreman Glen Boyd was present at the council meeting and spoke on numerous areas in and around Port McNeill that are in need of costly repair; such as patching certain roads (around $36,000), fixing the dip at the intersection of Broughton and McNeill Road (around $20,000), repairing and/or replacing three bridges in town (around $130,000), and renovations needed to be done on the Port McNeill outdoor pool (around $83,000).
Fire Chief Tasos Baroutis was also present at the meeting and spoke briefly on the Fire Hall’s equipment that requires upgrading including: 12 new Airpacks (around $126,000) with five more needing replacement in 2017, six new Turnout Gears (around $10,800) with three more each year for four years, and new helmets, hoses and hose nozzles (around $2,400).
Mayor Shirley Ackland said she appreciated “the ballpark of what we have to fix, it is very important for sure.”
The April 4 council meeting will be the date of the second reading of the Financial Plan Bylaw. On April 18, a public consultation will be held and, after amendments are made, third reading will take place. The May 2 meeting will be when the first, second and third readings of the Property Tax Bylaw take place, and then a date somewhere between May 4-13 will be chosen for a special open council meeting where the Financial Plan and Property Tax bylaws will be adopted.