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Port Moody delves into budget
About two dozen people filed into Port Moody's Inlet Theatre Monday night to have their say and learn more about the city's 2014 budget.
"It's discouraging that we have a city of 34,000 people and 24 people show up for a budget meeting," said Mayor Mike Clay. "But we've been doing the council cafes, we've got the online information, we're getting a lot of feedback and we get feedback every day on the budget. You do them all to accumulate the whole."
But the mayor was impressed by the questions and comments he heard at Monday's meeting and said it's more rewarding to take part in a discussion with two dozen very engaged people than to speak with a roomful of people preoccupied with other matters.
"The comments we got … where people said 'I thought I understood the budget. I came down here last night and watched your presentation and now I understand it more.' And that's why we do it," he said.
The city's draft budget calls for a 1.86% hike on top of the 1% asset renewal levy that will carry a 2.86% tax increase to Port Moody homeowners.
"I think we have a good budget this year and I think people understand that," said Clay. "They know that it's the constant battle between service and cost. And they value the service levels in Port Moody and they're not eager to see them erode.
"If the budget increase is what they consider is affordable and the service levels are remaining in tact, then they're happy. And I think they're fairly happy this year."