A screenshot of the Smithers Citizen Budget website. Castlegar’s version could look similar. (Black Press)

City of Castlegar invites public to use new online budget tool

This year the City of Castlegar has expanded its public engagement regarding the 2018 budget.

This year the City of Castlegar has expanded its public engagement regarding the 2018 budget to include an online budget tool.

It’s called Citizen Budget and Castlegar City Council will be showcasing the new tool at a public budget meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26, 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Community Forum (445 13th Ave.).

“Residents who use the online tool at the public budget meeting will be entered into a draw to win a gift basket filled with products from local area vendors,” according to a press release from the city.

Using Citizen Budget, residents can use their own property assessments to see how much they currently pay for city services. Then using the calculation tool, they can increase, decrease or maintain service levels and see what impact it has on their taxes.

Once they’re done, residents can then submit their feedback and share it via social media.

Results will be collected from Oct. 26 to Nov. 19, according to the city’s press release, and will “inform Council on how residents feel about how their tax dollars are being spent.”

“Each year, we encourage residents to provide feedback on how their tax dollars are spent,” Mayor Lawrence Chernoff said in the press release. “As Council continues to focus on Community Engagement as a key priority, this public budget consultation process will give residents more opportunity to shape the 2018 budget.”

Check out the online budget tool at castlegar.citizenbudget.com.