City Presents Business Plans and Proposed Budgets for 2014

December 10, 2013

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12-09-2013
#2013-18
For further information contact
Deb Walters, Mayor
Phone: 604-465-5454 or
e-mail: dwalters@pittmeadows.bc.ca

City Presents Business Plans and Proposed Budgets for 2014

PITT MEADOWS, BC – The City's 2014 budget planning process began last week with staff and partner organizations presenting their successes, challenges and proposed work program for 2014. The overall proposed operating budget currently sits at a 3.3% increase in property taxes, and a zero (0)% increase in utilities, bringing the total impact on the average single-family home valued at $450,000 to $56 or 2.03%.

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.

Finance Director 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 to comply with contractual obligations with the City's service delivery partners, including RCMP, Parks & Leisure Services and Fraser Valley Regional Library.”

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 and a direct staff complement of 64 people, a 1% increase in property taxes generates $156,000 in general taxation revenue, which is equal to a $17 tax increase on the average single-family assessed home.

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.

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 end of the sessions and at the Council meeting on January 21 at 7:00pm. Complete business plans, budget background information and all presentations are posted to the City's web page along with the opportunity for constituents to provide feedback by visiting pittmeadows.bc.ca.

Hard copies of the business plans are available at both the Pitt Meadows Public Library and City Hall.