Thursday, January 22, 2015

Quesnel Council Highlights - Jan 19th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Budget decision principles

Council has referred a recommendation to the Policy and Bylaw Committee to establish a policy which addresses all budget submissions and financial requests. The recommendation suggests that these (submissions and requests) be referred to the Financial Sustainability and Audit Committee (FSAC) for analysis and that Council will make financial decisions based on a recommendation from the Financial Sustainability and Audit Committee.

Council would like to ensure that it makes budget-impacting decisions in a timely and informed manner and have sufficient and timely briefing materials so it can always make spending decisions within the context of the whole budget.

The FSAC has an approved Terms of Reference, which makes it the point for all budget submissions from the public. FSAC is also the Council Standing Committee that will have the most up-to-date budget information and the most comprehensive understanding of all the internal and external pressures on Council’s annual and five-year budget. These Terms of Reference also require it to make budget recommendations to Council that comply with Council’s budget policies and procedures.

Under this practice Council would remain the final decision-maker on all spending decisions, as FSAC would bring back to Council a recommendation only on every submission referred to it.

Economic grants for 2015

Council approved an application for $50,000 to Northern Development Initiative Trust for the Economic Development Capacity Building Grant for the projects listed below with the funding flowing through to Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation (QCEDC). Council further approved the application for $8,000 to Northern Development Initiative Trust for the Grant Writing Support Grant of $8,000 with the funding flowing through to Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation.

Economic Development Capacity Building Grant for 50,000 is to increase the economic development capacity of municipalities and regional districts within the region. Eligible costs include incremental salaries, incremental operational costs, consulting or contractor fees and collaborative projects with other municipalities, regional districts or First Nations Bands.
Grant Writing Support for $8,000 is to assist municipalities, regional districts, and First Nations bands to build grant writing capacity and expertise that leads to direct funding for projects in the region. The Grant Writer is required to apply for a minimum of $200,000 to support community projects.

QCEDC continues to work with the non-profit and business community to support grant funds coming into Quesnel to support community activities and needs.
Council believes an in-house economic development function will more directly align with its strategic plan and budget constraints. The QCEDC will be wound down by December 31, 2015. The Board has been replaced by an interim Board of Directors for the remainder of this year.

Get ready for Skyfest 2015

Quesnel Skyfest Society gave a presentation to Council regarding the 2015 celebrations scheduled this year on August 1 and 2. The Society indicated that Quesnel will be introduced on the world’s stage through the Discovery Channel. The Airshow Series premiers on Monday, January 26 at 7 p.m. and will run for 13 weeks every Monday at 7 p.m. It is suggested that Quesnel will be featured in the third episode airing Monday, February 9.
Council approved sending a letter of support for the Quesnel Skyfest Society Grant Application for $15,000 to the Northern Development Initiative Trust under the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities Program.

Council further approved the Society’s intent to apply for funding from various sources to enable the purchase of special assets for a total of approximately $71,000 in an effort to enhance public safety and spectator experience at the airshow.

Council directed the remaining requests to the Financial Sustainability and Audit Committee for consideration and recommendation to Council.

The Ride Across Canada event

Council approved providing administrative and technical support to the Communities for Veterans Foundation - Ride Across Canada as well as $500.00 from Council Projects. Horseback riders will journey across Canada from Victoria, B.C. on April 11, 2015 to Saint John’s, Newfoundland with the focus being to gather Canadian Veterans’ stories to raise awareness and provide education regarding the issue of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome of Canadian Veterans.

Other News

Council supported the request from the Quesnel Multiple Sclerosis Self-Help Group to use the River Walk for an MS walk on May 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. The walk will begin and end at Ceal Tingley Park.

MAY - Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

NEXT MEETINGS: (all meetings held in Quesnel Council Chambers)

Monday Jan. 26 @ 7 p.m.
Committee of the Whole Session/Preliminary Operating Budget

Monday Feb. 2 @ 7 p.m.
Regular Meeting

Tuesday, Feb. 10 @ 5:30 p.m.

North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting

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