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Port Coquitlam Mayor says city finances solid despite pandemic

Last Updated Apr 13, 2020 at 7:03 pm PDT

FILE: Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West (Source: City of Port Coquitlam)
Summary

While Vancouver struggles with dwindling finances, Port Coquitlam mayor says his city is "in a strong position"

Although the mayor admits he's worried about small businesses

To help out small businesses they've eliminated a proposed tax increase and deferred property tax payments

PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — While Vancouver is struggling with its finances, Port Coquitlam’s mayor says the city is on solid financial footing.

Mayor Brad West says the city is “in a strong position” to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, but admits his concerns are with local businesses.

“We have assets we have cash, we have the ability to borrow if necessary as a worst-case scenario,” he says.

West adds, “The key is our residents and our local small businesses because what is a city if your local small businesses and your residents don’t survive through this period of time?”

According to West, while the city is on solid financial footing, for now, small businesses are still a major worry.

“We’ve been really orientating ourselves to try and provide as much support as possible to them, and that’s why we reduced our 2020 proposed tax increase to zero and deferred payment of property taxes.”

The elimination of the proposed tax increase, and deferred property tax payments will last until September.

In the meantime, West says the focus is now on core municipal services during the pandemic.

The city is also slashing non-essential spending and placing a hiring freeze at City Hall.