Budget talks continue: Staff to present Abbotsford council with variety of scenarios

City staff will present Abbotsford council with a variety of budget options in an attempt to solidify the 2012 financial plan.

City staff will present Abbotsford council with a variety of budget options in an attempt to solidify the 2012 financial plan.

During a special executive council meeting, held today (Monday) at city hall, council and staff began the long process of separating “wants from needs” in an attempt to create a balanced budget.

The meeting, which lasted almost three hours, covered everything from capital projects, including the city’s asphalt resurfacing program and the possible replacement of fire hall #6 in downtown Abbotsford, to water, sewer and waste management service rates.

After the debate, city manager Frank Pizzuto suggested that staff come back to council with some proposed figures.

“Some councillors want more details some want less. Some are basically saying give us the bottom line of what needs opposed to wants are and that’s also really discretionary depending on who you basically talk to,” said Pizzuto.

“If we go to a needs and wants, we’re going to come back and my needs and wants are going to be different from council’s.”

He suggested the percentage plan which would show council what could be accomplished with various different tax scenarios including no tax increase for 2012, a one per cent increase, two per cent or more.

“Hopefully we can get some good direction based on some specifics,” said Pizzuto.

Council is hoping to finalize a 2012 budget by the beginning of March.

For more on the meeting, keep checking www.abbynews.com.