Village ramps up budget discussions

On February 28, council sat down with village staff and Financial Consultant Pat Burke to go over the 2011 five year financial plan with a fine tooth comb.

Burke spent some time discussing reserve funding – explaining why the reserves were in the budget, what they will be applied to, in addition to discussing transfers to reserve funds.

Keremeos will see approximately $85,000 come to the village through the federal government’s Gas Tax Funding initiative. This money must be applied to environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure, such as:

Public transit

Drinking water

Wastewater infrastructure

Community energy systems

Solid waste management

Local roads and bridges

Burke told council that the village faces the looming propect of additional debt loads down the road, as the community must replace maintenance vehicles such as the dump truck and street sweeper.

Burke also noted that the public input recieved by the village so far had been included in the budget report. This included such things as a suggestion to look at purchasing used maintenance vehicles, as well as a request to remove the speed bump on Fourth Street, in front of the village office.

Budget fast facts:

– a one per cent increase in the village budget will tack an additional seven dollars onto the average residential assessment.

– No fee increases are proposed in the village budget for 2011.

– New revenue from new construction in the village has added $10,000 in new assessments.

– The federal and provincial governements pay the village grants in lieu of taxes for their buildings in the community.

– Garbage fees will remain unchanged from 2010 levels for 2011.

– Small assessment  base communities like Keremeos are eligible for additional grant funding from the province; Keremeos  will receive $357,000 through this funding initiative.

– Residents in the sewer extension catchment are required to hook up to the  system by July of this year.

– Sani dump revenue at the sewage treatment plant’s dump site on Veteran’s Avenue generated $1,200 last year, all from donations made by the travelling public who used the site to empty their RV, camper or trailer sewage system.

 

Council also met on Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m., condensing the agenda to deal with “wish list” items. Further budget meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, March 9 at 7 p.m., and for a final time on Wednesday, March 16 at 1 p.m.