Public identifies key areas of spending priorities to North Cowichan

Feedback on the Budget 2018 process can still be provided at further meetings into the new year

The Municipality of North Cowichan recently invited residents to provide input on the draft Budget 2018. Council received a summary of this feedback at the Nov. 6 Committee of the Whole Meeting.

North Cowichan residents had their say at three public meetings and on PlaceSpeak, North Cowichan’s online citizen engagement platform. Participants were asked to express their opinions on topics of priority spending and municipal services areas. They were also given the chance to declare what the municipality is doing well and where the improvements could be made.

The most important priority spending areas, as indicated by participants, included; water (keeping our water safe and clean), infrastructure maintenance (roads, sidewalks, pipes), public safety, building active transportation networks for cycling and walking, and affordable housing.

Areas where the municipality could improve were cited by participants as water management and education, policing, and comments were provided challenging proposed future projects.

“By getting out there in October and engaging the public early in the budget development process, it gives council more time to consider the input as we make budget decisions over the next several months,” noted Mayor Jon Lefebure. “The final budget is adopted each year in May, so the feedback we get at this early stage really helps to guide our decisions.”

Residents can continue to provide input on the budget, as meetings continue into the New Year.

At the Nove. 27 Committee of the Whole meeting, council will review the five-year financial plan and capital expenditure plan.

All budget-related meetings are open to the public and a complete list of these meetings can be found on the Budget 2018 website at www.northcowichan.ca/budget2018.

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