New roads, new dam, and no mill rate tax hikes are part of the proposed City of Prince Rupert 2020 operational budget announced by the Finance Department at the Feb 24, council meeting.
This year’s suggested budget proposes no increase to the residential mill rate, the setting aside of funds to cover the anticipated costs associated with the new RCMP station and initiation of dam construction.
“We are happy that for another year, we are able to hold fast with the tax rates, while simultaneously increasing funding to roads and other critical infrastructure replacements,” Lee Brain, mayor of Prince Rupert said.
“This year we will see the largest investment into roads in recent history with an additional $700,000/year increasing the overall road budget to over $1 million per year – a 100 per cent increase over the last two years.”
“We have also been able to set aside surplus funds towards debt which means that the City does not anticipate that the mandated replacement of the RCMP station, the dam construction or the landfill expansion will have any impact to taxpayers,” said Mayor Lee Brain.
To precede the proposed budget, in December 2019, the City approved to allow staff to pursue capital investments and purchases earlier in the year with such items as camera and mapping of the pipe network connected to one of the city’s sewer outfalls. This allows preparation for concentrating collection to enable treatment. The completion of the leachate lagoon at the landfill and boiler replacement at the recreation complex were also approved for capital works and purchasing.
Other highlighted areas were renewal of the city’s Official Community Plan and the increase of grants to community organizations.
“Finance also presented loan authorization bylaws for lending to be undertaken in 2020 so that the City can initiate borrowing to complete the dam project, and to build a new landfill cell. Both of these projects, too, are anticipated to have no impact to property owners, thanks to new revenues and past financial planning,” the City said in a press release.
“These projects have been looming on our municipal ‘to do’ list for years, and we are happy to now be addressing these major infrastructure needs as we set the foundations for the Rupert 2030 vision,” Brain said.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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