BUDGET 2015: City introduces 2.8 per cent tax raise

The 2015 draft financial plan includes an increase in public insurance liabitilty and a decrease in community engagement funding.

  • Jan. 29, 2015 10:00 a.m.

The City of Port Alberni is proposing a 2.8 per cent residential tax increase for 2015.

With an average home worth $186,001, this means the average Port Alberni homeowner will pay $39.72 more in residential taxes, if the budget were to be passed today.

The first draft of the city’s 2015 financial plan was unveiled on Monday to little discussion from city councillors.

According to a report submitted to council by director of finance Cathy Rothwell, the city’s service levels will remain for 2015 the same as they did in 2014, under the new budget.

General capital expenses for the city are projected to be approximately $5.5 million and would be funded by operations, reserves, grants and borrowing. Approximately $7.3 million is slated to be spent on capital projects across the board, with the remaining $1.8 million falling under sewer and water projects.

This includes just over $750,000 in paving and road construction, around $670,000 in storm drain replacements and upgrades, just over $1 million in water main renewals and upgrades, $650,000 in sewer projects, $173,000 to improve the Gertrude Street bridge, approximately $386,000 in new vehicles and $40,000 for a women’s shower facility in the city’s fire hall.

There is also $100,000 set aside for the Harbour Quay washrooms and $25,000 for the repair and/or removal of the Harbour Quay clock tower.

The city is projected to collect $20.9 million in property taxes in 2015, up slightly from $20.4 million in 2014.

The city will be paying close to 30 per cent more in fire department service charges, at $155,900 up from $120,800 in 2014.

Youth services and engagement, which were a focal point during the 2014 civic elections, saw a boost.

The Gyro Youth Centre will see a 62.5 per cent increase in funding, up to $6,500 from $4,000 in 2014. Funding for youth programs and services increased from $4,000 to $10,000, a 150 per cent increase.

The Echo Park complex will see a $10,579 decrease in funding, down to $38,449 from $49,028.

Echo Aquatic programs will get a 13.3 per cent increase in funding while Glenwood Centre and Multiplex programs will see 6.6 and 16.3 per cent decreases respectively.

Museum sales and services are projected to increase by 17.3 per cent in 2015, following a 33.4 per cent decrease from 2013 to 2014.

The new budget predicts a 102.1 per cent increase in the cost of public liability insurance. In 2015, insurance will cost the city $322,400, up from $159,500 in 2014 (no reason was given).

The city will spend 33.2 per cent more on overhead and decorative lighting in 2015, or a total of $355,000.

Off-street parking will cost the city $7,677 less in 2015, an 85.3 per cent decrease from 2014.

The city will also pay less 46.3 per cent less for container waste collection, 34.3 per cent less for solid waste container purchase and maintenance and 17.5 per cent less for solid waste disposal this year.

Business development funding took a hit with the city allocating $15,000 less this year, a 25 per cent decrease while community engagement funding plunged 90.4 per cent down to $2,000 from $20,750 in 2014. Tourism promotion lost all funding, down to zero dollars from $5,000.

The museum’s curatorial and permanent exhibit funding will continue to see funding decreases in 2015.

City departments will begin to give their in-depth budget presentations on Feb. 5 at city hall, with a public meeting on Feb. 25 at Echo Centre.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/AlberniNew

Just Posted

VALLEY SENIORS: Port Alberni group provides support for stroke survivors

The Stroke Recovery Foundation of BC has assisted thousands of stroke survivors and their families

North Island College entices international students to Alberni’s ECCE program

Port Alberni had seven international students in January 2019

Port Alberni’s bylaw department shifts from reactive to proactive

8.5 times more files being completed by bylaw officers

Port Alberni’s West Coast Rangers hold rendezvous

Three-day event featured historical re-enactment

Port Alberni Port Authority talks logistics for cruise ship visit

Some restrictions for pedestrians, boaters will be in place

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read