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Council okays tiny increase to help libraries in final budget

December 18th, 2009 · 6 Comments

I had a story in today’s Globe in advance of the final budget decision this morning, with Raymond Louie hinting that council would move a little on some of the budget numbers but not on the big-ticket item — the tax shift from business to residential. And that’s exactly what happened.

The Vision councillors ended up coming in with a motion to kick in a little extra money for libraries so that Riley Park doesn’t have to close, the main branch is protected and the hours of libraries in “vulnerable neighbourhoods” are not cut. That worked out to a .26 per cent addition to the two-per-cent tax increase the council had said it would hold to.

Street banners and the anti-graffiti program were not spared, and there was no mention of saving the Bloedel conservatory or the petting zoo.

As for community-centre hours, I understand that the park people are reassuring city hall that things can be moved around and arranged so that there’s minimal reduction in services there. We’ll see.

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