Keremeos Village Council proclaimed March to be Community Social Services Awareness Month at the Feb. 20 regular meeting of council.
Much of council’s business for the remainder of the evening centred around a review of 2012 budget items.
Keremeos Chief Financial Officer Rob Hager offered council an update on the budget as well as a preliminary 2012 capital projects listing for discussion by council.
Tax strategy for 2012 was also discussed, with council recommending a tax hike of three per cent for the village this year. That would amount to an average household tax increase of roughly $20. Council would like to see some of that increase transferred to the road reserve for future road rehabilitation projects.
“Adequate funding for road improvements is a concern,” Mayor Bauer explained, noting also that village assessments had dropped this year.
Hager offered the 2012 operating and 2012 to 2016 capital projects budget to council for informational purposes, who then went through the document with the CFO.
Capital budget highlights
Road reserves will be increased this year to handle three projects, deferred from 2011:
– 12th Avenue between Sykes Crescent and Pine Park.
– 10th Avenue alley between 10th and 11th Avenue and 4th and 5th Street.
– 10th Avenue between 4th and 5th Street. Pre-budget approval will be authorized for the tender and award of these projects.
A total of six projects in the capital projects budget needed re-budgeting for 2012. These included:
– Purchase of new dump truck.
– Website design.
– Parks – tree planting program.
– Trail link options.
– Sewer and lift station rebuild.
– Sewer upper bench project – blower, filter and transformer.
The funding source will be the same as that identified in the 2011 budget, although the dump truck purchase and the upper bench sewer project blower component will require additional funds to complete.
Two new projects were also identified for each of the years 2013 through 2015 include:
– Decorative street lighting
– Purchase of an articulating boom lift
– Sidewalk rehabilitation
– Seventh Street sidewalk from Veterans to 10th Avenue
– Surfacing of alley between 6th and 7th Avenue and 6th and 7th Street
– Purchase of a sweeper truck.
Deadline for adoption of the budget is May 15.
Next steps in finalizing this year’s budget include:
1.Incorporating council’s direction into the proposed operating and capital budget projects budgets.
2. Schedule meetings to obtain council direction.
3. Draft the final budget.
4. Schedule public input session prior to final adoption.
Council also looked at budget variances, where after adjusting for transfers to and from reserves, the general fund year end suplus is estimated to be $77,039. It was recommended that this amount be put towards the road reserve fund for future roadwork projects.
In other business, council elected to rescind a number of village policies considered to be redundant or out of date.
Bylaw Enforcement Issues
Complaints to the village regarding bylaw infractions increased from 60 in 2010 to 68 in 2011.
In 2008, the following infractions were investigated:
– 33 property maintenance issues.
– 25 dog complaints.
– Two burning compliants.
– Two traffic violations.
– Six miscellaneous calls.
In addition, 10 dogs were impounded in 2011.
Building permit inspection fees were down substantially in 2011. The village had budgeted for $35,000 in revenue, against actual returns of $16,803.45.
Costs associated with building inspection services were higher than budgeted, at $28,275.5 actual versus $27,019 budgeted. The budget projections were based on revenues collected in 2010, when a single project (16 unit BC Housing complex on Veterans Avenue) brought in a single permit fee of $12, 818. Twenty-five building permits were issued in 2011, seven of which were for new buildings, one for commercial, and 17 for repairs and renovations.