Council deliberated over the 2011 budget on Monday night, looking at figures from previous years and projecting forward on a five-year plan prepared by city staff.
The 2011 budget is currently in a draft state as council makes decisions line-by-line on which programs to support and with how much money.
The Monday meeting was adjourned due to the late hour before everything was finished — the meeting will resume on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. — but several substantive decisions were made.
Coun. Andy Stradling wanted to make 20-per-cent cuts “across the board” to the Museum Society ($33,000 budgeted), Tourism Rossland ($75,000 budgeted), the Chamber of Commerce ($41,400 budgeted), and the Sustainability Commission ($61,000 requested.)
“The time has come for us to start weening these guys off our budget and putting them on notice that this isn’t an endless source of [funds], and they need to up their fundraising efforts,” he said. Stradling elaborated on his position, noting his sense that the city’s mandate to market Rossland as a whole, to get people to live here and fill the schools rather than just hotel beds and business ledgers, was not served by several small and separate organizations.
With two exceptions, Stradling received no support for this proposition, and all decisions so far have maintained last year’s level of funding.
“I just see us passing the buck to the next council,” Stradling said. “All the difficult work still to be done.”
One exception was Coun. Laurie Charlton who also favoured cuts to Tourism Rossland and the Sustainability Commission.
The other was Mayor Greg Granstrom whose opposition to the full funding request of the Sustainability Commission, combined with Stradling and Charlton’s opposition, resulted in a $16,000 cut, to $45,000.
Stradling also presented a motion to limit the city to one pick-up of yard waste per year, rather than the current two. Although this would have saved the city approximately $12,000, with a view to the recent no-burn bylaw it was determined that the service was necessary and the motion was defeated.
The only other savings identified by council included $1,500 removed from their in-kind support to the pond hockey championships. This will not affect this year’s but only next year’s competition.