It’s early days but Keremeos council is eyeing a 2.5 per cent increase in the budget.
At Monday’s council meeting the 2019 operating side of the village’s budget was brought forward. The most notable change was the addition of an asset management reserve, which would include a transfer of $25,000. The reserve will help offset depreciating assets and be used when replacing them as needed.
Other transfers to reserves include: the economic/business development reserve for $7,250; the equipment replacement/repair reserve for $30,000; road works for $16,645; colmbarium purchase for $2,000; building repairs $15,000; election expense $2,500; water/sewer and general capital project reserves for $75,000. Additionally this year there will be another transfer to the sewer reserve of one-half connection revenues equal to $4,000 and a small excess of revenues over expenditure of $1,701. There will also be a transfer to the Water Reserves because more money was collected than used in the amount of $5,922.
Wages and benefits for administration at the village office are expected to increase slightly over 2018 from $397, 159 to $406,666 which includes expected annual increases.
There is also an anticipated increase for dike maintenance to ensure the village is complying with inspection requirements. In 2018, $4332 was budgeted for emergency measures/dike maintenance and liability insurance. In 2019, $5,351 is budgeted.
Street lights are expected to cost Keremeos residents more. There will be an increase in cost from $55,508 to $58,191 to light the streets in the village. The increase reflects the increase from Fortis.
There are no plans to change user fees in 2019, but a review is being recommended by staff.
Small capital projects along with special projects will be presented during a council meeting in February.
In addition to paying village taxes, residents of Keremeos are taxed by the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen for shared services such as the recreation centre/pool. Residents are also taxed by the school board and the library.
Council will be discussing the 2019 budget several more times before a public input session takes place prior to it being passed.
The full report can be found on the village’s website at www.keremeos.ca.
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