Next Steps for 2014-2018 Draft Financial Plan
May 7, 2014
On Monday, May 5, Council gave first reading of the tax bylaw and amended the preliminary 2014-2018 Financial Plan, increasing investment in cycling infrastructure by $50,000 per year for the next five years, and investing an additional $121,639 in cycling and pedestrian improvements in 2014.
For 2014, Council has given preliminary approval to an overall tax increase of 2.51%. This results in a proposed increase of 2.75% for residential properties ($60 increase for an average residential property) and 2.3% increase for business ($150 increase for a typical business property.) This is the lowest tax increase in 14 years.
The 2014 Operating Budget is $209.8 million, a $2.81 million increase over 2013. The budget focuses on maintaining high quality services while keeping taxes affordable. The 2014 operating budget maintains high service levels, focuses on improved customer service, growing the economy, public safety and community well-being.
The 2014 Budget continues to invest in critical infrastructure for the future. Nearly 20 cents of every dollar the City collects is invested in public infrastructure. Typically, annual capital investments are $30 to $35 million; in 2014 the capital budget is $89.9 million due to significant investment in building a new Johnson Street Bridge with improved amenities for cyclists and pedestrians. Over one third ($14 million) of the City’s typical capital investment is in underground systems such as water, sewer and stormwater. The additional funding for cycling infrastructure increases the 2014 budget to $520,000.
City Council will give second and third readings to the 2014-2018 financial plan and tax bylaws on Thursday, May 8 and final consideration will be given Monday, May 12, 2014.
An open house on the financial plan was held on April 23, including two presentations. For those who were not able to attend the session, the presentations are viewable online. A survey on the draft plan collected feedback from residents. That survey has now closed and the results were presented at the Special Council Meeting on May 5.
Click here to read background materials and the 2014-2018 Draft Financial Plan.
Highlights of the 2014 budget include:
- $61 million in emergency services: police, fire and emergency management
- $14.8 million in parks and recreation, including two new playgrounds at Hollywood and Alexander Parks
- $14.3 million to rehabilitate and replace underground systems
- $47 million for new Johnson Street Bridge with additional cycling, pedestrian and accessibility amenities
- $6.4 million for transportation infrastructure, including sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks and paving
- $9.8 million in upgrades and maintenance of City facilities, lands and property acquisition
- $7.5 million to replace vehicles and equipment
- $948,000 in arts and cultural events
- $500,000 for implementing the City’s new Official Community Plan and Downtown Core Area Plan
- $300,000 for Downtown beautification
- Continued improvements to customer service including several improved online services