Residents of Colwood can expect a 2.5 per cent property tax increase this year if council approves its 2012 budget as recommended by staff.
Adjustments to the City’s core operating budget are minimal and resulted in a decrease of $206,038 from what is needed from municipal property taxes. This means that property taxes for an average single family residential dwelling will either stay the same or will go up as little as 0.03 per cent due to core adjustments.
Proposed supplementary requests will equal about $3.9 million. Of that, $2.4 million is for a sewer project in the Allendale Pit area that is to be funded by property taxes from that area. About $1.2 million of the budget will come from grants and reserves, while the remaining $248,696 will be paid for by taxation.
This amounts to a proposed increase of 2.5 per cent on the average single family home.
Among the supplementary requests staff have deemed appropriate for 2012 are grave site repairs at Colwood Pioneer cemetery, website upgrades to the tune of $25,000 and an additional RCMP officer at the cost of $68,500. Also, $100,000 is being requested to study traffic concerns in relation to future developments.
Another supplementary request involves $864,000 for the continuation of the sidewalk, bike lane and crosswalk project on Island Highway. Work on the bike lanes and sidewalks are ongoing.
Engineers are still working on the design for the crosswalk. Director of engineering Michael Baxter doubts that it will be completed by March 31, the deadline for a provincial grant.
Baxter said Colwood has applied for an extension, but that there is no indication whether or not that will be accepted.
“Our chances of getting (the crosswalk) built by March 31 are not good,” Baxter said.
If the deadline is not met then it will become Colwood council’s decision on how to pay for the work.
All of these figures are proposed and need to be approved by council. A final proposal of the draft financial plan and related taxes will be presented to council at its April 10 meeting, at which time public input will be accepted.