It’s not too late to talk to West Kelowna Council about new budget

Residents can still provide feedback via e-mail

Contributed

There is still time to provide input into West Kelowna Council’s 2019 to 2028 Financial Plan.

Council hosted a Feb. 20 Talk Budget open house to gather feedback but residents are still encouraged to provide comments on this year’s budget. Here’s how:

· View the Open House Presentation Panels and the 2019 to 2028 Financial Plan at www.westkelownacity.ca/budget, then email your thoughts to info@westkelownacity.ca

Council proposes a 3.88 per cent tax increase in 2019 to build reserves, keep pace with inflation and address the need to modernize infrastructure and services. If approved, a 3.88 per cent increase would add $68.78 to the annual property taxes charged to the typical West Kelowna house, valued at $550,000.

READ MORE: Chance for residents to talk with West Kelowna Council about budget

Council is also debating the implementation of a franchise fee on utility companies. West Kelowna is the only municipality in B.C. that does not have a franchise fee. Council’s deliberations have been weighing the fact that the fee would be passed onto consumers against the need to use the collected funds to build capital reserves.

Council has decided an increase is necessary because, the city must ensure that adequate funding is available to upgrade or replace existing, aging infrastructure and equipment. These costs are covered by capital and equipment reserves. The city must also keep pace with rising market costs for goods and services.

The city also receives continuous requests from residents for increased service. West Kelowna Council is adding staff in specific areas to reduce wait times, increase bylaw enforcement, add policing and improve services.

READ MORE: West Kelowna to hire eight more firefighters

In addition, eight new career firefighters will be added to West Kelowna Fire Rescue to address a critical resource shortage. Firefighters in West Kelowna work considerable amounts of overtime, double time and extended tours of duty to ensure that the community’s fire stations are staffed as per the Collective Agreement and legislated requirements. The critical staffing shortage led to one brown out (temporary closing of a fire hall for one shift) in 2018 which is a safety issue for the community.

The move will ensure that minimum staffing of the community’s fire halls will be accommodated without overtime or extended tours of duty. Westbank First Nation contributes to the costs of West Kelowna Fire Rescue.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Couple in crash on Highway 1 mistake North Shuswap for Lower Mainland

Chase RCMP report Mercedes Benz collides with transport truck

Province looking into pollution complaint at Shuswap dairy farm

Farm along the Salmon River has drawn complaints from the Okanagan Indian Band

Salmon Arm RCMP, new immigrants get acquainted at police station

Tour of detachment provides opportunity to explore differences in judicial systems

Shuswap speedskater takes on international competition in Poland

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall too fourth place with Canadian team

Salmon Arm gives tax break to Canoe Forest Products plywood plant

Company tax bill to be reduced while residential taxpayers to pick up shortfall

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Laughing ladies and country artists sell out Okanagan venue

Alan Doyle and I Am Woman, Hear Me Laff! back to back sold out

Revelstoke mother and daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Ministry grants SD67 extension to balance books, submit amended budget

The board of trustees voted Monday to acquire outside help to deal with budget concerns

Most Read