2020 Budget Proposes No Increase to Tax Rates and Largest Investment into Roads in Recent History

Mon, February 24, 2020

The City’s Finance Department gave the community a first glance at the proposed Operational budget for 2020 at last night’s Council meeting. This year’s budget proposes no increase to the residential mill rate, increasing the paving budget to $1 million this year (up over 100% over the past two years), and setting aside funds to cover anticipated debt associated with a new RCMP station.

“We are happy that for another year, we are able to hold fast with the tax rates, while simultaneously increasing funding to roads and other critical infrastructure replacements,” said Mayor Lee Brain. “This year we will see the largest investment into roads in recent history with an additional $700,000/year increasing the overall road budget to over $1M/year - a 100% increase over the last two years.”

“We have also been able to set aside surplus funds towards debt which means that the City does not anticipate that the mandated replacement of the RCMP station, the dam construction or the landfill expansion will have any impact to taxpayers,” said Mayor Lee Brain. “These projects have been looming on our municipal ‘to do’ list for years, and we are happy to now be addressing these major infrastructure needs as we set the foundations for the Rupert 2030 vision.”

Highlights of the 2020 budget include:

  • No increase to tax rates
  • Increase in paving budget to $1 million
  • Initiation of dam construction and new landfill cell rock removal
  • Renewal of the City’s Official Community Plan
  • Includes an increase in grants to community organizations
  • Budget surplus to be reserved for future RCMP replacement debt

To enable staff to pursue capital investments earlier in the year, the following list of capital works and purchases were also approved in December:

  • Camera and mapping of the pipe network connected to one of our Sewer outfalls in preparation for concentrating collection to enable treatment;
  • The completion of the leachate lagoon at the landfill;
  • Boiler replacement at the Recreation complex;

The full Powerpoint presented by Finance staff is available, here:

Council Presentation - Proposed 2020 Budget 

Finance also presented loan authorization bylaws for lending to be undertaken in 2020 so that the City can initiate borrowing to complete the dam project, and to build a new landfill cell. Both of these projects, too, are anticipated to have no impact to property owners, thanks to new revenues and past financial planning. For more information on loan authorizations, and how you can support Council in undertaking necessary lending, check out the Powerpoint presentation given by staff, here:

Council Presentation - Loan Authorization Information

The Proposed 5 Year Financial Plan document, outlining the proposed budget, will be available on the City’s website and at the front desk of City Hall, the Library and the Recreation Complex after March 2nd. Public Budget consultations will also be held March 9th and 23rd at 7:00 pm in Council Chambers, in advance of the Regular Council Meetings, where the public is invited to attend and speak to budget priorities.

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Veronika Stewart, Communications Manager

250 627 0976

veronika.stewart@princerupert.ca