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City of Richmond’s financial plan subject of open house

Richmond City Hall will host a public open house next Tuesday on the proposed five-year financial plan that calls for a tax increase of three per cent.

The Feb. 19 open house is from 1 to 5 p.m. in council chambers. A presentation from city staff is scheduled for 6 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session.

The five-year financial plan comprises the city’s operating, capital and utilities budgets—all which council has already approved. Not included are big one-time expenses such as a new pool to replace Minoru Aquatic Centre, a replacement for Fire Hall No. 1 and a new seniors centre.

According to a report from budgets manager Nashater Sanghera, major facilities have been left off the books “to allow further discussion and direction by council.”

“Once the review is completed and further discussed with council, a report will be presented to council, and the five-year capital budget will be amended if necessary,” noted Sanghera.

This year’s three per cent rise in property taxes this year is a similar increase dealt to taxpayers in each of the last five years.

The financial plan is available on the city’s website, or at the city hall. Requests for digital copies can also be made at finance@richmond.ca.

City council is scheduled to consider the plan for adoption at its Feb. 25 meeting at 7 p.m., when taxpayers will be able to offer comments directly to council.

Comments can be made to the city by 5 p.m. Feb. 20 by writing city hall or e-mailing finance@richmond.ca.

Under Community Charter rules, the city must adopt the five-year financial plan by May 15.

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