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City launches new tool for feedback on budget

The City of Courtenay has launched a new tool for citizens to provide feedback on Courtenay's budget.

The Citizen Budget survey is available until June 30 at www.courtenay.ca.

Tillie Manthey, director of financial services, says the survey will allow the public to weigh in on expenses for various City operations.

"For this first year, we've set it up so respondents can rate their level of satisfaction with different budget categories," she said. "It will give the public a chance to read descriptions of our services in a format that is much easier to understand than the traditional financial reports."

Full financial reports are also available on the City website for those who want to see more detailed information.

Operating budget categories include Protective Services (police, fire, bylaw enforcement, building inspections, emergency measures), Recreation, Parks and Culture, Water and Sewer Services, Transportation and Waste Collection.

Respondents can also weigh in with their top five important issues facing the city.

If the Citizen Budget tool proves useful, the City will consider expanding it for the 2015 budget year.

"We'd like to provide a tool in the future where citizens can simulate moving money around in the budget and see the implications of those choices," said Manthey.

Council will use survey results to gauge public satisfaction with the 2014 budget, and to help guide the budget planning process for 2015 and beyond.

Those wishing to provide formal feedback on the 2014-2018 proposed financial plan before finalization in May can view detailed budget documents at www.courtenay.ca. Questions and comments should be sent to Manthey at tmanthey@courtenay.ca before April 25.

— City of Courtenay

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