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Nanaimo Council reaches stalemate over budget

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Nanaimo Councillors reached a stalemate last night over the budget. An hour of debate ended in two failed votes and they put off making any decisions until their next meeting.
They were initially looking at a 1% property tax increase, but some Councillors started pushing for further 2% reduction across the entire budget.
Mayor Bill McKay says it’s going to be tough to decide where and how to make that happen.
McKay says Councillors will need to do their homework and come back to the table with some feasible ideas if they want to see the City reduce the size of its budget.
He says postponing items will just lead to higher increases down the road.
Councillors also learned last night that the City is going to have to clean up contamination on the Wellcox Railyard property it purchased in 2012.
Just over 1 hectare has contamination from a history of industrial use. The city has $210,000 set aside for water sampling this year, with final remediation set for 2016. There’s no budget yet for that part of the project.
Some of the Wellcox property is slated for use as a Regional District transit hub, and part is also set aside for the terminal for Island Ferry Services.
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