The City of Port Alberni’s draft budget for the next five years includes an estimated 5.1 percent tax increase in 2020.
City CAO Tim Pley and deputy director of finance Rosalyn Macauley presented the draft financial plan for 2020-2024 to council on Monday, Nov. 25. Pley explained that city staff used the 2019-2023 budget and the city’s new strategic plan as a starting point when putting together the budget for the next five years.
The draft includes a few major capital projects, including a community safety building, beautification of the upper Third Avenue streetscape and a new Port Alberni welcome sign.
It also estimates that the property tax increase to the average assessed value single family residence will be 5.1 percent for the year 2020.
In addition, the draft budget also includes an increase in four city staff positions. The city proposes hiring staff for two new positions next year, while two other positions would be increased from part-time to full-time.
“If we’re going to continue to provide all the services we provide, and we’re also going to add in strategic initiative work, we’re going to have to put in more money in the budget and we’re going to need more staff resources,” City CAO Tim Pley explained on Monday. “We believe that those are critical to being able to complete those tasks.”
Mayor Sharie Minions thanked city staff on Monday for preparing the draft budget so early.
“I think this is a great start for a lot of information for us to review,” she said.
Departmental presentations will take place at city hall on Dec. 3, 4 and 5 from 6-9 p.m. First reading for the budget will take place on Jan. 13, 2020, and there will be an opportunity for public engagement starting Jan. 14, 2020. The deadline for the five-year financial plan bylaw adoption is scheduled for May 15, 2020.
The full draft budget is available to view on the city’s website.