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EDITORIAL: Everyone has an opinion on Princeton’s budget

It happens every time there is a release about plans to spend money.

While those who feel they benefit directly from a funding announcement are thrilled, others are angry because they believe different projects are more important.

The prime minister announces a plan to assist refugees, and people holler: ‘What about our veterans?’

The premier commits funding for daycare, and another group demands equal time for health services, roads, schools…well the list goes on and on.

At the municipal level it is perhaps the most difficult, as the majority of the money that runs and supports our town flows from the provincial and federal governments.

And those bodies, in most cases, indicate how it must be spent. Often they require a municipality to chip in and share some costs.

Simply put, if the province decides to give Princeton money to buy living room furniture, we are not allowed to use it to fix the bathroom and we might even have to buy our own end tables.

The proposed 2021 Princeton budget sets some ambitious spending plans, and they are all to be funded differently.

There are combinations of taxation, reserves and grants.

There is $2.87 million in the capital budget, and that’s exclusive of the proposed spending for public works; $850,000 for sewer system improvements. The latter is crucial to the town being able to alleviate its housing shortage.

Many of the big projects put forward in the budget will not proceed if the funds are not made available from higher levels of government.

These are just some important things to remember, when looking at any financial plan.

– The Similkameen Spotlight

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