Burns Lake’s 2017 provisional budget, which was approved by council last week, reflects a zero per cent increase in taxation rates for both businesses and residences.
“Property owners may pay more or less depending on changes to their assessment values,” explained Sheryl Worthing, chief administrative officer for the Village of Burns Lake. “Those values are determined by the B.C. Assessment Authority.”
Although there will be no increase for water rates, sewer rates will be increased by five per cent.
Included in this year’s budget was $23,000 for the purchase of two new treadmills and an elliptical trainer for the Lakeside Multiplex. One of these treadmills has already been purchased and is available for use.
Council also authorized staff to begin the tendering process for the purchase of a new rescue truck this year. This will allow for a new truck to be purchased in 2018 – one year earlier than what was approved in the 2016 budget. The fire department anticipates that the new truck will last approximately 20 years.
The messaging system that the village had considered implementing, called Telmatik messaging software, was removed from the 2017 budget. With this system, village staff would be able to select a certain geographical area or the entire municipality and send out bulk texts, emails or electronically recorded phone calls. If implemented, the plan would’ve cost taxpayers $2575 annually plus a one-time implementation cost of $500.
The village’s plan to build an outdoor skating rink adjacent to Spirit Square was also not included in this year’s budget. The estimated first-year cost of an outdoor rink would be approximately $10,500, with an ongoing annual cost of roughly $7000 to maintain it. Council decided to discuss this idea further in the fall of 2017.
Although the recreation department’s budget has been facing a significant increase in its budget since the Lakeside Multiplex opened in 2014, arena wages were decreased by almost $60,000 this year due to the installation of the Freon plant.
The 2017 budget does not include an increase to council remuneration. However, there will be a 1.5 per cent increase to all staff wages – union and non-union. The 1.5 per cent wage increase to union staff will cost the village approximately $12,500 per year while the 1.5 per cent wage increase to non-union staff will cost the municipality approximately $10,000 per year.
This year’s contribution to the village reserves was just over $400,000, which was above council’s goal for 2017.