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City engaged in budget process

The budget process is continuing in the City of Penticton this week.

Last Friday, council looked at the capital budget, where they started with a deficit of $210,000, according to Mayor Garry Litke.

"We eliminated that through the day, cutting bits and pieces, with nothing too major, to arrive at a balanced budget," he said.

The major expense in the capital budget is the FortisBC Westminster Substation Transformer.

The budget for this project is split over 2013 and 2014 with $3 million approved as part of the 2013 budget and $3 million that is part of the 2014 budget submission.

The upgrade, which will increase system security, has been identified for a number of years as a need.

"We made other minor cuts, but it was essential to leave that in place," said Litke.

On Tuesday afternoon, the council heard presentations from organizations seeking grants. 

On Wednesday they will start deliberating on the operating side of the budget, where there is a $979,000 deficit.

On Dec. 18 there will be a decision on the general revenue budget funding alternatives and on Jan. 6, staff will report to council on the budget.

Other budget highlights:

RCMP E Division administration costs of $130,000, in addition to a 2013 increase of $500,000.

Electrical rate increase of 4.6 percent.

Water rate increase of 5 percent.

SOEC debt- 2014 final year for $8 million, with little or no impact  on deficit because of allocations to casino reserve for 2018 fiscal year when final $9.6 million will be fully retired.



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