Kamloops Chamber gives city council budgeting advice

By Greg Fry
December 12, 2017 - 4:13pm

KAMLOOPS —The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce wants the City of Kamloops to develop a long term strategy for budget planning.

By long term, President Paul Ross says it should be three to five years in length and include a 10-year maintenance and expansion of capital infrastructure plan. He pushed the Chamber's idea at today's city council meeting.

"We went there (council) to support them in their budgeting and tax planning endeavours and really just told them that we understand the importance of infrastructure planning and the importance of making the community aware infrastructure, assets, utilities — they all have a cost carried to them and these costs need to be updated and looked at on a regular basis."

The Chamber also says the focus on a longer budgeting forecast should include projects in years two to five of the city's five year plan.

"We need utilities and roads to operate businesses in town and to live in Kamloops and those need to be maintained in order for business to do their own business," Ross says. "So, it's important to look at these assets that do have some wear and tear to them and financial prudence means we need to update them on a regular basis."

Currently, he says the city has a five year plan while its tax planning tends to be annually and notes while zero per cent tax increases sound great, it's not always the right thing to do considering the money needed to update infrastructure.

"Zero per cent is the buzzword but if it costs us more down the road, it's probably not the most prudent thing to do."

So, what kind of response did he get from council?

"It was positive. I'm trying to break down a few walls and make sure that we all work together, different organizations and other non-profits to make Kamloops the best place to live in the world."

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