The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has just published their B.C. Municipal Spending Watch report for 2000-2009 and Castlegar is among the top performers in the province.
“We fared very well,” said counsellor Kevin Chernoff. “Provincially we’ve done very well. The higher the number is the more fiscally responsible you were. They take your population growth versus spending growth. As a city grows – is the municipality in line with what they’re asking taxpayers to pay.”
In the overall provincial ranking, Castlegar finished 128th out of 153 cities in B.C. The rankings are judged backwards with one being the worst. Nelson placed 39th, Trail 51st, and Grand Forks 60th worst.
Castlegar saw it’s population grow 10 per cent in 2000-2009. Real operating spending growth was 21 per cent; per capita spending growth was 10 per cent; and provincial rank for municipalities of 5,000-9,999 was 133. That puts Castlegar third among similar sized cities in spending growth behind Nelson and Qualicum Beach.
In 2009 operating spending per capita, Castlegar was $1.146 million, good for 80th worst. Nelson finished with $2.215 million for 16th worst. Trail’s 2009 operating spending per capita was $1.616 million for 36th worst.
“It just shows that compared to a good percentage of other municipalities in B.C., Castlegar does very well with how they’re spending compared to population growth,” said Chernoff.