The City of White Rock will plant $80,000 saved during recent job action into maintenance of its public parks.
Following a motion by Coun. Helen Fathers, council voted last week to invest the funds immediately.
Father’s suggestion followed a report by the city’s financial services director which outlined options for rebating taxpayers from the savings realized during the job action – an idea Coun. Grant Meyer raised in May.
On July 14, Kurylo told council that exact savings have not been calculated, however, $80,000 is about what it would have cost the city to provide solid-waste services during the strike, which began May 1 and expanded citywide on May 12.
Fathers noted that if the $80,000 is simply divvied up amongst the city’s 8,500 properties, it will amount to $9.41 each – an amount she described as “a little bit offensive.”
While Kurylo recommended the funds be added to the city’s 2015 budget, to be used for a one-time expense, council went with Fathers’ suggestion.
In supporting the move, Coun. Louise Hutchinson agreed it wouldn’t make sense to divide the savings up amongst the city’s taxpayers, as there are many who don’t actually call the city home.
“For them to benefit doesn’t make sense,” she said.
She said addressing the state of the city’s “pretty shabby” parks would benefit everyone.
“We need it right now because the city is basically in a mess,” Hutchinson said. “Our staff just can’t keep up with that work.”
In her report, Kurylo noted the city also experienced reductions in revenue during the strike, including that typically collected from pay parking.