Vernon council will be reviewing the proposed 2017 budget Wednesday and Thursday.

Vernon council will be reviewing the proposed 2017 budget Wednesday and Thursday.

Vernon residents can speak out on city budget

Public input sessions are part of the Wednesday and Thursday meetings

Vernon residents have their chance to speak out on taxes and spending.

City council will hold 2017 budget meetings Wednesday and Thursday, and the sessions will include opportunities for public input.

“Hopefully people will read the budget and raise questions,” said Coun. Bob Spiers.

“If you find items that shouldn’t be in the budget, come and inform us. Tell us about it.”

City staff recently presented council with a proposed 3.6 per cent tax increase for 2017 — 1.7 per cent for operating expenses and 1.9 per cent for infrastructure.

It’s anticipated tax revenue generated from infrastructure in 2017 will reach $2.9 million. The focus will include roads, sewer, the cemetery, sidewalks and parks.

Additional resources will also go into the RCMP, bringing the budget for the force to about $10 million.

There will also be additional staffing within the purchasing and human resources departments to address demands.

Spiers won’t speculate on the final tax increase council will approve.

“The 1.7 per cent is a wish list and there’s definitely room to lower it somewhat or increase it,” he said.

The budget sessions begin at 9 a.m. at city hall, with public input at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

The proposed 2017 budget is available at www.vernon.ca.