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As City Council prepares to put into bylaw the City's five year financial plan tonight, the Financial Services Manager says a lot of time and thought went into it.

Marlie Worrin says after the budget was prepared, time was spent with each department head determining their wants and needs.

Worrin says those sessions were followed by about another 30-hours meeting with council, going through the entire budget.

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Merritt City Council will be looking at two notices of motion put forward by Councilor Alastair Murdoch to speed up a couple of processes.

City Deputy Clerk Carole Fraser says one pertains to grants in aid and the other to reviewing the budget by the first Tuesday in January each year.

As well, Council will be looking at a number of bylaws, including the City of Merritt five year financial bylaw for Council's consideration and adoption.

The meeting is underway at 7 o'clock in City Hall Council Council Chambers.

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An agreement with Huldra Silver for take over of the Craigmont Mines site is expected to be official at the end of this week.

One of the four current owners of the mine just west of Merritt, Dick Herman, says Craigmont Mines will continue to operate for a while longer on the site after the take over...

Huldra Silver will bring silver ore from a deposit they have in the Tulameen area and process it on the Craigmont Mine site, using existing tailing dams for disposal of their tailings, processing the ore there, using existing permits in place.

The Huldra operations are expected to employ about 40 people.

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The candidates in the Federal Riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla are hearing a lot of the past work of retiring M-P Stockwell Day.

Liberal candidate John Kidder says Day's retirement has opened the door for more than the Conservatives to make a showing in the riding.

Kidder is one of six candidates in the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding.

The other five are Dan Albas for the Conservatives, David Finis for the N-D-P, Dan Bouchard for the Green Party, and Independents Sean Upshaw and Dietrich Wittel.

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This is the final day that voters can cast ballots in advance polls for the May 2nd election.

Liaison Officer for Elections Canada, Bruce Forward reminds voters in Merritt to have their voter information card ready at the polls.

The advanced polls today and the main polls on election day, next Monday are at the Merritt Civic Centre.

Today's advanced poll is underway between noon and 8pm.

Under law, there must be three days of advancing polling in a federal election -- 10, nine, and seven days before election day.

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