Summerland council considers taxes, spending and debt levels

Budget process began in September, with adoption expected in May

Members of Summerland’s municipal council and municipal staff are working through the details of the 2019 budget, which will be completed this spring.

David Svetlichny, director of finance for the municipality, said the process is a lengthy one which began in September.

Last year’s budget was around $15.4 million, with $8.6 million coming from taxation.

Svetlichny said staff will bring forward a status quo budget. This budget will include funding commitments and increases beyond council’s control, such as negotiated wage increases.

Once this is completed, other budget items will be considered.

“There’s quite a lot of discussion at all levels,” he said.

Spending, debt levels and taxation will all be considered.

Svetlichny said every one per cent increase in property taxes means an additional $86,000 for the municipality.

While this amount seems significant, the costs of municipal projects can be considerable. Svetlichny said the cost of a single road project ranges from the hundreds of thousands to the millions of dollars.

Linda Tynan, chief administrative officer for the municipality, said this year’s budget is the first for the current council. The council members were elected in October and will serve a four-year term.

Tynan said some large items will likely be discussed during the budget process. These include a roads strategy, a parks and recreation master plan and the aging aquatic centre.

“There are lots of bigger-picture items that will be discussed during the budget process,” she said, but added that these discussions will not necessarily result in council taking on new projects.

In addition, she said there are some pending items where council and municipal staff are waiting before they can proceed.

The budget timeline, set out at the last municipal council meeting, calls for an open house on the proposed budget on Wednesday, April 3, with the five-year financial plan coming before council on Monday, April 8.

The financial plan is expected to be adopted at a special meeting of council on Wednesday, April 10. The tax rates bylaw is expected to come before council on Monday, April 23 with adoption at the May 13 meeting.

Just Posted

Okanagan Ogopogo bathtub race fundraising efforts over the top

In five years the Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has raised over $120,000 for SOSM Foundation

Cyclist in distress prompts Hwy 3A closure

BC Air Ambulance transported the male, believed to be in his 50s, to a nearby hospital

Swimming advisory issued for Summerland beach

Bacterial counts exceed guidelines

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

Car catches fire while being towed by motor home on Hwy. 97

The incident occured just north of Sage Mesa Rd., no injuries have been reported

Dash cam footage of Hwy. 97 car fire

A Mini Cooper being towed by a motor home caught fire on Hwy. 97 on Aug. 23

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and stand-up guy at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Renter of torched Okanagan home a British Army veteran, new Canadian

Owen Wilson was just beginning to settle into life in Canada when the blaze occurred

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Meet the Okanagan’s newest homeless outreach team

The Vernon Homeless Outreach Team makes its first formal appearance Aug. 28 at Upper Room Mission

Most Read