City Invites Residents to Participate in 2014 Budget Process

November 5, 2013

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2013-10
For further information contact
Deb Walters, Mayor
Phone: 604-465-5454 or
e-mail: dwalters@pittmeadows.bc.ca

City Invites Residents to Participate in 2014 Budget Process 

The City officially began the 2014 budget planning process with a workshop on October 29 which provided a historical and future context for upcoming Council budget deliberations. Director of Financial Services Mark Robertsprovided an informative presentation, which is available on the City's website at pittmeadows.bc.ca.

Earlier this year Council had asked staff to present two budget scenarios, one maintaining current service levels and one demonstrating what a zero-percent tax increase would mean for service delivery.

Roberts said, "Even with a tax increase, some cuts in other areas would still be necessary in order to meet rising costs, increasing service demands, and comply with contractual obligations with the City's service delivery partners, including RCMP, Parks & Leisure Services and Fraser Valley Regional Library."

"Attempts to achieve a zero-percent tax increase would significantly impact service delivery," he stressed.

Mayor Deb Walters noted that "Pitt Meadows is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the region, with 13% population growth since 2006, so therefore we are struggling with growing service demands while trying to ensure there is sufficient funding to replace and maintain aging infrastructure. Many expenditures in the proposed operating budget have been held or reduced from 2013 levels."

"That being said, we are still facing some difficult decisions regarding potential budget cuts, including longer response times for service requests, reduced road maintenance, elimination of public arts funding, and funding for special events, to name a few."

For Pitt Meadows, a community with a population of just over 18,500, a 1% increase in property taxes would generate an additional $156,000 in general taxation revenue, which is equal to a $17 tax increase on the average assessed home. A proposed preliminary tax increase of 3.3% would mean an additional $56 to the average homeowner in Pitt Meadows.

The preliminary budget presented to Council on October 29 includes $445,000 in cuts from the proposed 2014 budget. Council will be discussing the impacts of these proposed cuts during upcoming budget deliberations.

Residents and businesses are invited to participate in the 2014 budget process, and are welcome to attend department business presentations on December 4 between 5:30pm until 9:00pm and on December 5 from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Budget deliberations will be held December 12 and 16 from 5:30pm to 9:00pm. Individuals will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to Council at the Council meeting on January 21 at 7:00pm.#115282v1

Complete schedules and copies of the business plans are available online and at the Pitt Meadows Public Library and City Hall after November 29. For more information on the City's budget process, visit pittmeadows.bc.ca.

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