CAO talks about Rossland budget options

Rossland’s CAO/CFO presented council with the option of a quick look into what the budget will look like for the next five years.

Rossland’s Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Financial Officer presented council with the option of a quick look into what the budget will look like for the next five years.

Cecile Arnott outlined services the city currently pays for after a request from Coun. Cary Fisher that the city revisits its services.

Arnott also outlined possibilities for paying off the Columbia-Washington infrastructure project, noting that some grants may be possible.

“The tough decision is to keep looking ahead,” Arnott said, explaining that councils often begin to look more in the past while not planning for the future. “It’s about staying on the road, and perhaps changing your route, that’s easy to do.”

Arnott said when the City looks at it’s financial decisions, it should look at what value it gets for its dollars.

“It could be economic, it could be wellbeing, there are a lot of things to think about. You have to align your short term and long term goals,” she said.

Arnott said that the City has some opportunities and challenges ahead. These include the immediate funding of the Columbia- Washington project, but also things like balancing the strategic plan and balancing levels of service  with affordability.

Arnott also noted that rising costs of labour and energy, and aging infrastructure, will continue to put pressure on the City.

There is also the dwindling availability of grant funding.

Arnott said that things like the Columbia Broadband initiative are an opportunity for the City.

The City is set to look at the budget in March. In it, they will have to look at debt servicing for Columbia/Washington, whether to keep service levels consistent with 2012, community planning and asset management.