For Immediate Release
January 16, 2013
COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS - JANUARY 15, 2013 SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING
2013-2022 Financial Plan
Council received gave first reading to the Draft 2013-2022 Financial Plan that includes a 3% tax increase. This was the first of several planned comprehensive deliberations for the 2013 budget. A public open house is planned for Wednesday, February 20, 2013, with final adoption slated for April 2013.
2013 to 2022 Financial Plan Part I
2013 to 2022 Financial Plan Part II
Financial Assistance Ending
This is the first budget being presented to Council without funding assistance from the Province for RCMP or restructuring. Council signed a four year policing agreement with the Provincial Government in April 1st of 2009. This agreement included financial assistance up to March 31, 2013. The District will be paying the full costs for the last nine months of the year. The net loss in RCMP funding assistance in 2013 is $1,600,000. A reserve to fund major crimes policing has been set up. The Restructuring Assistance Grant of $1,425,000 provided annually to the District since incorporation ended in 2012. None of these funds have been used to fund operations and for five years has been transferred directly into reserves.
In anticipation of financial assistance ending in 2013, the budgeted transfer to reserves was high from 2008 to 2012. The restructuring assistance revenue and police grant provided from the Province allowed DWK to build reserves. Now that assistance has ended, the transfer to reserves has been reduced. The net reduction to reserves is $3,808,408 while the 2012 financial plan predicted a reduction of $3,829,872. At the end of 2012, the District has Reserves of $38 million, with a 10-year reserves plan which will see $30.9 million in place by 2022. The ten year operating budget still includes enough reserves to fund all capital requests in the ten year capital budget.
Council was advised that District Department budgets were restricted to a maximum 1.5% increase. The largest percentage increases in the budget are:
Operations - 38.37%
Bylaw – 17.47%
Policing – 3.82%
The single largest increase in the 2013 operating budget is road maintenance. Government assistance of $960,000 ended December 7, 2012. The 2012 operating budget anticipated that the new road maintenance contract for 2013 would be $1,422,739. At the end of the RFP process there was only one bid, negotiated to $1,731,496. The net increase to operations is $1,640,463. Road and snow control costs have been adjusted in the draft 2013 budget to reflect actual contract costs (increased by $308,757) and an additional $253,000 is being requested due to the high number of snow events in the District so far this year.
Early Approval of Capital Projects
In an interest to proceed with important community improvements, Council provided early approval to the following capital projects:
Jim Lind Arena Renovation - $1.45 million
2013 Road Rehabilitation Project - $1 million
Gellatly Road Upgrade Phase 3 - $2.95 million
Brown Road Streetscape (Westbank Centre Revitalization) - $800,000
Casa Loma Drainage Improvements Phase 2 - $700,000
Memorial Park Upgrades - $180,000
Westbank Cemetery Upgrade - $500,000
Gellatly Road Design (Carrington to Boucherie) - $300,000
Pedestrian Improvement Program - $250,000
Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre Structural Upgrades - $250,000
Westlake Road Design (Hwy 97 to Sunview) - $220,000
CNR Wharf Design – $157,000
Gellatly Boat Launch – South Retaining Wall - $120,000
Gellatly Dog Beach Fence - $13,500
Council requested that consideration of an electronic sign, partially funded through 2012 Hockeyville prize money ($25,000), be deleted from the 2013 budget and the Hockeyville committee be requested to reconsider how the money should be spent.
Council approved the hiring of five summer students, one Water Operator III (succession planning preparation) and a new Bylaw Enforcement Officer (one year term).
Grants in Aid
Council approved Grants In Aid to several community groups totaling $81,500 in cash and $253,225 non-cash grants.