By: Korie Marshall
Valemount Council has passed first and second readings of the financial bylaw, with a four per cent increase. A public presentation of the budget is set for 7pm, Wednesday April 8th.
A report from staff on the March 24th agenda says Council approved an additional two per cent over the usual cost of living or inflation adjustment of two per cent, to assist funding some new projects and allow reserves for future infrastructure while limiting the amount of funds to be used from surplus. It was not clear by press time how much money will be taken from surplus.
The new projects were presented to the Council and the public on March 17th and include $25,000 for legal fee increases; $39,000 for salary and wage increase and the addition of a part time position in the Village financial division; $50,000 this year towards an update of the Official Community Plan, with another $50,000 required next year; $10,000 for a referendum should the Village decide to go ahead with a boundary expansion for the proposed resort; $10,000 for an additional crew truck for Public Works, as one has recently been taken out of service due to the excessive repairs required; $10,000 towards construction of a proper dog pound; $15,000 towards a cemetery expansion; an additional $20,000 towards a sewage pumper truck for Public Works, as the $20,000 set aside last year has not been enough to finance the purchase; and $235,000 for the 5th Avenue lift station upgrade.
The staff report says the four per cent increase will bring in an additional $23,000 for Village coffers. It will translate to an additional $17.40 in residential taxes per $100,000, and an additional $35.00 for businesses per $100,000.
Tax rates will also be adjusted as the amended BC Assessment rolls become available, and as adjustments for other agencies the Village collects taxes for are received.
The Village’s five-year financial bylaw still has to pass third and fourth readings, expected to occur in April. By provincial legislation, the bylaw must be adopted every year by May 5th.
The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George approved its five-year financial plan at its meeting on March 19th. Taxes required for the Regional District from Valemount residential properties will be $314.81 per $100,000, down from $396.28 last year.