Homeowners in Port Alberni will likely pay an extra 2.7 per cent in property tax this year, according to the city’s proposed 2016 budget.
If the budget passes next month with no changes, businesses will shoulder a six per cent increase and industrial tax will stay at zero per cent due to a decision made by a prior council. Total tax increase will be at 2.6 per cent.
The budget, which received three readings on Monday, is scheduled to be passed in April.
For an average single-family residence valued at $185,876, that means an extra $47 on their 2016 property tax bill.
Residential taxes make up 59 per cent of the city’s property tax requisition—major industry makes up 23 per cent; business is at 17 per cent.
Light industry, utilities, non-profits and farms each make up less than one per cent.
Of the $33.6 million city budget, $21.5 million comes from taxes.
The most expensive departments are the RCMP at $6.8 million, parks and recreation at $5.5 million, engineering and public works at $4 million, the fire department at $3.3 million and general administration at $3.2 million.
Almost $7 million of the budget is used for transfers to other agencies, including the hospital, library, school district, municipal finance association and others.
Water and sewer works came in at $3 million and $2.6 million respectively but are financed by user fees rather than property taxes.
Major public works projects for 2016 include repaving Angus Street from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue for $175,000, repaving Fifth Avenue from Burde Street to Redford Street for $140,000, upgrades to storm drains from Lathom Road to Gertrude Street for $125,000, LED street lights for $150,000 and repairing the Victoria Quay bridge deck from $115,000.
A 1995 Ford E150 van used by city engineering technicians and the chassis for a GMC utility truck will be replaced at a cost of $31,000 and $60,000 respectively from the equipment replacement reserve fund
Parks and recreation will spend $50,000 on Mill Stone Park, $25,000 on a plan to replace or remove the Harbour Quay clock tower, $32,000 on Johnston Road planters, $40,000 on Canal Beach improvements and $45,000 on sheet piling repair to the Harbour Quay pier.
Water works projects for 2016 include $300,000 for a new twin main from the Cowichan Reservoir to the Burde Street reservoir and a backup generator for the Arrowsmith pumpstation.
Sewer projects include main replacements on Anderson Avenue from Maitland Street to Wallace Street for $110,000 and on Craig Road from Regina Avenue to Tebo Avenue for $90,000.
Replacement computer network servers in city buildings will cost $170,000 from ERRF.
The fire department will replace their control room console and electronics (carried forward from 2015) and a new fire hall generator for $60,000 from ERRF.