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Port Edward proposes 3.3% tax increase for 2024

Municipality to give final reading to budget at April 23 council meeting

The district of Port Edward is proposing a three per cent tax increase for its 2024 budget.

A March 27 letter to residents outlined the district’s five-year financial plan, which includes new housing, capital projects and a new fire truck.

“Port Edward continues to be in a good financial position in 2024,” read the letter to residents regarding the upcoming budget.

“We have a diversity of revenue streams that will allow our community to make strategic investments in our infrastructure and services.”

The district’s tax increase is significantly lower than the 7.7 per cent increase from Prince Rupert city council in November 2023. The district said the “modest” three per cent increase is justifiable amid high inflation costs.

Council is expecting to see a surplus of $230,566 for 2024, with an overall revenue of $4.6 million and $4.3 million in expenditures. The district said it will obtain $287,675 from residential taxes in 2024 — six per cent of its overall revenue — and $670,892, or 15 per cent of its revenue, from utility fees.

A new fire truck — which should arrive by the end of 2024 — will cost the district approximately $425,000, though much of the costs will be covered by grants and other donations from companies in the region, according to the letter from Mayor Knut Bjorndal.

The district is also planning to tackle capital projects for roads, water, sewer and stormwater management. It hired consulting firm WSP to help create an asset management plan, which it hopes to have ready by the 2025 budget.

Plans for new housing projects were outlined in the letter, with the district pointing to lots on Alder Avenue as a viable option for market and non-market housing as the district looks to expand.

“The focus of Council’s priorities remains attracting both residents and businesses to Port Edward by encouraging development, adding new outdoor recreational amenities, and collaborating with various agencies and organizations to improve the quality of life for residents of Port Edward,” the letter said.

The five-year financial plan bylaw will be given first and second readings on April 9 before its third and final reading on April 23. Residents have until 4 p.m. April 9 to submit concerns or opinions to the district.

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About the Author: Seth Forward, Local Journalism Initiative

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