Budget process in works

Coldstream council and staff will soon get to work on the 2014 budget.

Coldstream council and staff will soon get to work on the 2014 budget.

A scheduled committee of the whole meeting Monday was supposed to be changed to a finance committee meeting, and another finance committee meeting was set for Nov. 19.

However, the finance committee meeting should have been set for Nov. 26.

“This change is necessary to facilitate staff availability for the finance committee meeting,” wrote Coldstream administrative officer Trevor Seibel.

The first meeting will be council’s original look at what money is available.

“Council will be presented with a whole plethora of information from grant-in-aid requests to capital projects to operational budgets,” said Seibel.

Committees decommissioned

The district’s fire department liaison and operational review committees have been struck down.

The fire department liaison committee was created to foster ongoing dialogue and communication between council and the chiefs of the Coldstream and Lavington fire halls, and met monthly.

But as issues were resolved, the committee has not found it necessary to meet even quarterly.

“I’ve established a good rapport with the fire chiefs and it has become apparent that the format of formal communication by way of committee meetings is no longer efficient or necessary,” wrote Seibel.

The review committee was established as a select committee of council to look over the operational aspects of each of the district’s departments to try and understand more of the day-to-day operations, issues and challenges with each department.

Since it was created, the committee never convened a traditional meeting.

Now, both departments will report to Seibel.

“I can deal with things much more expediently than a committee,” said Seibel.

Christmas office hours

Due to the likelihood of few public requests, council voted in favour of a staff recommendation to close the District of Coldstream office completely over the Christmas holidays.

The office will be closed from 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, to 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2.

“With advance notice via various media formats, the public would have adequate time before the Christmas break to contact district office staff regarding inquiries and requests for service,” wrote Seibel. “The Christmas break is the time of year when we anticipate there would be few requests for service on Dec. 27, 30 and 31.”

Office staff would use vacation time or flex time to cover the three days.