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What do you want Coquitlam to prioritize in its 2023 budget?

A month-long public survey is set to help city council and staff determine where its finances should be directed for the benefit of community, business, culture and service.
The Coquitlam Public Library's City Centre branch is located on Pinetree Way.

Money: the constant concern or priority for most Coquitlam residents regardless of which neighbourhood they call home and where they choose to work, shop and play.

Working to balance the needs of the community, including the city's budget, was a common topic during the 2022 civic election and a new, but familiar council is set begin brainstorming a plan following Monday's (Nov. 7) inaugural meeting.

But before elected officials hit the ground running, the public is being asked to provide input on how next year's finances are spent on its wants and needs.

A survey has been launched by city officials to for feedback and comments on the 2023 budget, and is set to stay live until the end of November.

Coquitlam finance director Gorana Cabral said it's important to understand where local residents and businesses believe more funds are needed and that each sector important to them is receiving "the right amount."

She added public input also supports the decision-making process as the budget's ultimate goal to ensure a high quality of life for all.

"It also helps inform the community on how city budgets are created, in addition to how your property tax dollars are spent," Cabral said in a statement.

"Public feedback helps the city balance individual needs, along side the needs of a growing community while delivering on key priorities and projects in a measured way, especially during times of economic uncertainty."

"As the city emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that the city’s financial plans continue to maintain a balanced approach managed through a variety of council-approved long-range policies," Cabral added, believing Coquitlam's finances held a firm foundation to stabilize services the last two years.

"This includes planning for community growth and the capital investment required to provide infrastructure, amenities, programs and services for existing and future residents."

In addition to the general public and local businesses, the budgeting process will also include Coquitlam's cultural partners to determine how much money is needed for the sector.

This includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Coquitlam Heritage Society
  • Coquitlam Public Library
  • Evergreen Cultural Centre
  • Place des Arts

Coquitlam is hoping to approve the 2023 budget in February when council is set to adopt a five-year financial plan bylaw.

Once the survey is complete, a draft budget will be pieced together and reviewed later this fall.

The deadline to participate in the latest budget survey is Nov. 30 through the Let's Talk Coquitlam website.

For more information on Coquitlam's current financial plan, you can visit its page on the city's website or email staff directly at [email protected].