SUMMING IT UP GRAND FORKS: Spending starts on new equipment as city approves purchases early

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
April 1st, 2013

Fast tracking of $326,300 for budget items was approved by Grand Forks city council as they finalized their financial plan for 2013.

The council meeting on Monday, Mar. 18 did not include much discussion around the capital costs already detailed in the previous meeting’s financial presentations from staff (see story here).  Items approved include: a diesel powered chipper ($33,000), downtown core beautification ($253,700), a utility vehicle ($27,000), and office furniture ($12,500).

After approving these particular items, council went on to give the first three readings to their annual financial plan which, once passed at the next meeting on Tuesday, Apr. 3, will determine the tax rates needed to meet the commitments of the budget.

Courthouse lease

Council approved a new lease agreement with the B.C. Ministry of Justice for the continued use of the courthouse on Central Avenue. The rent on the site was raised by 5.709 percent but the agreement was not otherwise changed substantially.


Mayor Brian Taylor brought forward issues that he is discussing at the larger Regional District of the Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) table. The key item before the regional government is the proposed changes to the animal control bylaws which the stakeholders will finalize in the coming weeks. Public input to the process was welcomed over the past few weeks, including a meeting last week in Grand Forks.

Taylor also advised that the region will be asking for an increase of 25 percent for the aquatic centre services that are regionally provided.  This is not a referendum issue as the budget process allows for an increase in the service cost ceiling every five years.

“There are changes in that (request) that have not been agreed to by area D representative Roly Russell. Pending discussions… we need to get that resolved quickly here. It’s not a major increase but it gives potential for us to move with demand (for services),” said Taylor.

This increase will be on taxpayer’s invoice as a regional district item, explained chief administrative officer Doug Allin, even though it impacts Grand Forks residents.

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