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What are your $ priorities?

A new swimming pool, improved sports fields and money in the bank are some of the items Port Coquitlam residents are calling for when city council begins budget deliberations this fall.   - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
A new swimming pool, improved sports fields and money in the bank are some of the items Port Coquitlam residents are calling for when city council begins budget deliberations this fall.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

A new swimming pool, improved sports fields and money in the bank are some of the items Port Coquitlam residents are calling for when city council begins budget deliberations this fall.

So far, the city has received just six submissions following its first public input opportunity and more consultation is expected as the process moves forward. The feedback is necessary, staff said, in order for the city and council to prepare a financial plan that reflects what the community wants.

Members of the PoCo Marlins Swim Club addressed the committee, saying a new indoor pool is needed. Marlins president Rob Ancell said the pool at Hyde Creek rec centre is at capacity and an improved facility would allow the community to host provincial championship events.

PoCo FC Soccer Association told the city poor field surfaces are forcing the organization to replace all of its soccer balls every season.  Facilities co-ordinator Tracy Nolet commented that the turf and gravel fields are at capacity and many players are joining clubs in neighbouring municipalities. A lighted surface, Nolet said, would help alleviate some of the capacity that the organization is currently experiencing.

Bruce Cox, a PoCo resident, said the city needs to set money aside for the maintenance and upgrade of infrastructure in the municipality.

Last month’s public input opportunity was the first of what the city expects to be a series of discussions on the 2012-’16 financial plan.

In September, an online survey will be available on the city’s website and the finance and intergovernmental committee (FIG) will review utility rates in November.

In January 2012, the draft plan will be brought to FIG in advance of a budget open house in February at the PoCo rec complex.

Formal public consultation will take place during regular council meetings in March and the plan is expected to be approved in April.

In a city report, staff said it expects to maintain 2011 service levels and will look for budget reductions where reasonable. Staff is also looking at creating a 10-year capital plan for priority projects and will contribute to a growth reserve for future capital projects.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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