VIllage of Keremeos begins budget process

2014 budget deliberations begin at December's last council meeting

Village of Keremeos council looked at the first draft of the 2014 operating budget at the December 16 meeting of council.

Staff requested pre-approval on two capital projects for 2014 – replacement of the washrooms in Pine and Memorial Parks. Money for the projects will come from reserves, and will have no impact on the 2014 tax rate.

“There won’t be any information as to whether taxes will be going up or not until the February 17 meeting of council,” said village financial officer Rob Hager. Assessment notices from the province will be issued in January.

Council approved grants in aid for 2014 at the December 16 meeting. The following organizations will benefit from village funding in 2014:

– Similkameen COP (Citizens on Patrol) – $750.

– Similkameen Country events – $1,600

– South Similkameen Museum – $3,000

– Garden Club – $1,480

– Friends of the Keremeos Skating rink – $250

– Okanagan Regional Library – $250

Garbage and sewer fees were also addressed by council. A reduction in curbside collection fees from $135 to $120 was approved, while sewer fees will rise from $250 to $285. Sewer fees have been subsidized from grant funding, having gone three years without an increase. The village has a mandate  to make sewer fees  self sustaining, and with that in mind council felt that an increase was necessary. The tax hike will be specific only to those in the village with sewer connections.

Keremeos’ total general tax requisition last year was $698,004. The proposed requisition for 2014 is set at $703,439, an amount that includes revenue from new construction in the village.