Fort St. John Presents a Balanced Budget

Travis Fortnum
02/12/2019

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Last night – Fort St. John City Council presented a balanced 2019 budget at a public meeting.

Good news for taxpayers, as this means there probably won’t be any tax increases – and some will actually see a drop in taxes!
 
Homeowners with an average assessed value of $318,000 will actually see their taxes drop by about $20.00 this year.
 
Mayor Lori Ackerman credits prudent spending policies for the balanced books.
 
“It is very easy to be distracted by shiny objects,” Ackerman says. “Opportunities that come by and we just sit there and say ‘hmm, no this is not part of our strategic plan and so we're not doing it.’ 

“We are building for the future, not for the here and now.”

  - Mayor Lori Ackerman
 
And looking towards that future, the city presented a five-year plan on capital projects that are in the works or already underway.
 
Last year, 20 new commercial businesses opened within city limits. 
 
And - Council says it’s focusing on attracting even more skilled professionals to the Energetic City by revitalizing the downtown core.
 
“The big projects are in the downtown core,” says David Joy, GM of Corporate Services for the city. 

Joy goes on to say that those projects would include making portions of both 100th St. and 100th Ave. four lanes. These plans have been accounted for in this year’s capital funding plan.
  
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Some other large scale projects include:
  • A new RCMP Building 
  • A new fire training centre
  • Upgrades to several municipal facilities (incl. the curling club and north peace arena)
  • Major renovations to Centennial Park
  • The construction of Festival Square
 
“Those will add to the attraction that citizens will have to go see stage events in our central core,” Joy says.

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“It will support the restaurants that are in place, maybe increase the number of restaurants and patios.

“Sure it’s a winter city but there are inventive ways to keep attracting people both in winter and summer.”
 
The 2019 Capital and Operating budgets are set to be adopted later this month. The exact date has not yet been announced.

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