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Comox Mayor talks about the 2011 budget
Heading into the holiday break, Comox Council reviewed the Town's last two financial quarters.
Comox Mayor Paul Ives helped explain the financial outlook.
"All we have at this point is historical information on the last two quarters of 2011. We're looking forward to Feb. and March, that's when we sit down and discuss the budget going forward."
Ives added "the budget talks will be on what projects need to be taken into account for the year ahead, as well as the five year plan on capital projects."
Comox Council hasn't begun discussing tax increases yet said Ives. "During the election people were concerned that tax increases stay down around the rate of inflation."
Last year taxes increased by 2.3%, Ives explained. This year could be the same. "We're going to be looking at the 2.3% range again going forward, although, those numbers and those discussions really haven't been discussed in any detail."
The budget purse string could be tightened in 2012 said Ives. "We'll be looking at fewer opportunities from senior level governments to provide funding."
Ives added "Council will still put an application into the province for funding in the Anderton Park Project."
With the financial reports in from staff, the next step is the year end audit.
"To give us an idea of where we stand in terms of our debt load our carrying capacity for any future debt we may need to incur."
An optimistic Ives added " Our overall financial health picture has been very positive over the last few years, and I expect next year to be positive too."
The strength of the Town's financial report going forward is in the reserves.
"We have a number of reserve accounts for everything from affordable housing to fire department. We have other reserves that we've used for park acquisitions through our development cost charges."
Ives added "it's always good to have healthy reserves. Anytime we deal with infrastructure in the town, we have to make sure we have reserve funds."
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