Before plunging into the budget deliberations, city council will take another stab at the recommendations stemming from KPMG's final core services review report.
On Monday afternoon, the group of nine will meet as the committee of the whole in council chambers to deliberate the remainder of the undiscussed opportunities.
Last November, the committee went through 13 of the suggestions summarized in KPMG's final report.
During that meeting, council members came up with 11 recommendations to formalize at a December council meeting, including directing staff to examine the process of reducing the size of council, selling the Pine Valley Golf Course, finding a third-party operator for the Four Seasons Pool as well as looking at establishing a fee for putting out extra garbage at the curb.
Twenty more opportunities are up for debate beginning at 3:30 p.m., ranging from real estate ventures to the price of ice time to reworking police administrative duties.
The consultants indicated that the city was on the right track with four land sale projects: the single-family lots in University Heights that could generate around $3.6 million; the RCMP parking lot that could house a new condominium tower or hotel; the Rec Place Dr. tennis courts that could fetch up to $600,000 per acre; and the development of the Wood Innovation Design Centre downtown.
KPMG also identified further land assets the city should look at offloading: the 10 acres of Rustad Road that could be turned into a "gated strata patio home community"; the 12 parcels that make up surface and above-grade parking lots downtown; relocating Studio 2880 to facilitate the sale of its current site; and the sale of land at Dominion Street and Sixth Avenue to develop student residences for UNBC.
The report estimates that these transactions could fetch the city at least $1.3 million in one-time revenue, mainly from the sale of the Rustad land, but that business plans, market studies and cost-benefit analyses would need to be carried out to unlock any more financial potential.
Skating enthusiasts would be interested in what council decides regarding the cost of using local rinks. KPMG has zeroed in on increasing the cost of ice time to "achieve recovery of the cost of operations." Among the disadvantages the consultants pinpointed in going through with this would be discouraging residents from seeking out an active and healthy lifestyle, the potential loss of clientele and access becoming reduced for lower-income residents but they estimated $600,000 in annual revenue from the move.
Another 16 opportunities to be considered come from a portion of the final report that doesn't provide as much analysis and rationale as previous ones.
The selections from this group (of the 67 in totall) were prioritized based on the potential timing of the impact for the city - the 2013 budget, for staff to implement this year, those which have a medium or long-term impact and those that need further investigation.
Some of the opportunities don't have any associated cost savings, such as switching more of the city's zoning into the RS4 (single residential) category. According to city bylaw, this zone is to "foster the redevelopment on older, smaller inner city lots... with lanes or in new traditionally designed neighbourhoods." The lot area for these developments must be between 300 and 400 square metres, with rationale being that more properties could be developed to add to the property tax base.
The reports also singles out moving more customer service transactions to the Internet such as tax and utility bill payments and reforming the governance structure of Initiatives Prince George by adding more members of council its board to "increase accountability and communication with the city."
The highest identified potential for cost savings in this section comes from rejigging police report writing and administrative duties so RCMP members can spend more time on crime reduction as opposed to paperwork. KPMG identified an annual savings of $250,000 to half a million dollars.