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Proposed enhancements aimed at Prince George social issues could see 4.5 per cent tax hike

City to debate service enhancements in upcoming 2020 budget talks
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Prince George City Hall
Prince George City Hall. (via Hanna Petersen)

Prince George city council will be considering about $2.4 million worth of service enhancements in next year’s operating budget in the name of safety and cleanliness.

These are initiatives focused on the social issues surrounding homelessness the city is currently facing.

Administration will be bringing these service enhancements up for consideration during January’s budget meetings. Council will also be looking at additional service requests from police, development and planning and environmental services.

If all of the enhancement requests are adopted, it could mean a 2.19 per cent property tax increase, and since the city is already looking at a 2.32 per cent increase to maintain existing services, it could mean a 4.51 per cent increase.

These service enhancements requests were detailed in a report brought forward to the city’s Dec. 2 finance and audit committee meeting.

Some of these enhancement requests include:

  • Police providing seven two-member patrols at six hours each per week for nine months for $273,249
  • Increasing existing security costs in the budget by $50,000 so from $350,000 to $400,000.
  • Security gate updates for parkades at $150,000
  • An additional six bylaw officers to round out 24/7 coverage
  • Downtown Homeless Service Hubs (contribution to staffing) for $236,000
  • Marginalized Camp and Illegal Dump Clean-up for $501,800

These costs, however, are also offset by $578,900 in funding from other areas.

Additional requests from other areas include:

  • Police are requesting a data processor supervisor for $91,000 and a forensic video analyst for $101,476
  • Development and Planning are requesting a planner position for $94,599
  • Environmental Services is requesting a climate change and energy coordinator for $100,407

Council’s budget meetings are set for Monday, Jan. 6 and Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.

 




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Hanna Petersen

About the Author: Hanna Petersen

Born and raised in Prince George, Hanna Petersen is a graduate of UNBC. She then abandoned her hometown for the East Coast, graduating with a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in the process.
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