Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kitimat reviews and revises its financials, in wake of announced Eurocan closure

"This is a very serious situation we’re facing. It will change everything, not just the municipal structure.”
"But we have a year. Then there will be a combination of tax increases on everybody and service reductions.” -- A few of the serious concerns voiced by Kitimat City Manager Trafford Hall to a gathering of council this week, examining the fall out from the recent closure announcement from Eurocan.

City officials in Kitimat are beginning the process of reviewing their plans, that as they ponder a future with a significant cut in revenues when Eurocan begins its closure plans in January.

City manager, Trafford Hall offered a grim assessment of the short term future for the community as far as its financials were concerned, Hall outlined how Eurocan’s current level of a $4.724M contribution to the annual tax coffers, will be reduced to an estimated $600,000 by 2011.

A drastic reversal in municipal fortunes that will require the District to make some hard choices in the months to come as to what is considered necessary and what is expendable.

To put it into terms that the council and Kitimat residents might best understand, he explained how with one announcement, half the equity of their houses had been wiped out.

Another topic around the discussion table was the very real prospect that spin off job reductions could and very well may take place in other supply industries, adding further to the emotional and financial strain in the community.

The Northern Sentinel had this report on the sobering assessment of the big picture for Kitimat.

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