Another budget meeting set

As town council continues to work on finalizing the 2004 budget, a special committee of the whole meeting has been called for 5 p.m. on Monday at the Civc Centre.
Mayor Dan Onichuk said Friday morning the meeting should include “finite numbers” regarding the impact of the Rainycrest levy increase and the town’s liability for the River Walk Condominium, as reported in Thursday’s Daily Bulletin.
There also will be more discussion on whether the town should stick with a straight tax increase of anywhere from 15.25-18 percent, or look to cut services.
“We’re really reviewing everything. There’s ideas floating around to find funding in other ways,” noted Mayor Onichuk.
“We’re looking constantly for options,” he added. “To say the least, not everybody [on council] is prepared to pass on an 18 percent increase to the taxpayers.”
Mayor Onichuk said it’s likely another special meeting will be called later next week to keep discussions going, adding the town may have a more definite picture of the final budget by the next regular council meeting (April 12).
Meanwhile, Mayor Onichuk noted a story that was broadcast Thursday on B93-FM was an April Fool’s prank.
In the broadcast, Mayor Onichuk had said the town not only was going to start making residents put “bag tags” on their recyclables as well as their garbage bags, but that they would be hiring students to be “bag tag police” to monitor compliance.
Those who didn’t follow the new program would have to appear at the Civic Centre for a “public pelting,” to which the mayor supposedly noted “a little bit of embarrassment usually gets people to fall in line.”
“I got a couple phone calls from people,” Mayor Onichuk said Friday morning. “All I said to them was, ‘What day is it today?’
“Not everybody thought it was funny,” he admitted.