Several Salmon Arm organizations are getting a funding injection in the city’s 2021 budget, thanks in part to the federal/provincial COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant.
Out of 25 ‘specific referrals’ or group and individual requests for funds, council gave the nod to about 15.
The ‘yes’ list included: $1,500 for the Shuswap Trails Round Table, an annual working group meeting and conference; $3,500 for the Salmon Arm Citizens Patrol; $50,000 in 2021 for Roots & Blues as part of a four-year agreement, increasing by $1,000 each year; $40,000 to the Salmon Arm Curling Club, with $20,000 retroactive for 2020; $25,250 plus $2,500 for the Shuswap District Arts Council’s Pride Project with the larger figure for a tri-rainbow crosswalk and the smaller for a flag pole and new flag.
Other organizations receiving funds included: $25,000 to the Shuswap Trail Alliance for a website upgrade and $2,200 for 2021 as part of a three-year agreement for Foreshore Trail dog monitoring; $12,000 for the SPCA; and $131,000 in 2021 for the Salmon Arm Museum & Heritage Association as part of a five-year agreement.
Coun. Tim Lavery brought forward three proposals for funding: $20,000 to the Active Transportation Reserve, of which $15,000 was approved; $7,500 to the Food and Urban Agricultural Plan Reserve, which was earmarked in the COVID grant as reserve; and $100,000 to the Affordable Housing Reserve, of which $60,000 was approved, $20,000 of it going to Habitat for Humanity to help offset development cost charges.
Also joining the relatively new practice of an individual council member requesting transfers to specific reserve funds, Mayor Alan Harrison joined resident D. Murray in requesting $20,000 for improved sidewalk snow clearing. Instead, $40,000 was included in the budget for weekend snow clearing when needed.
Of the $3.6 million grant, $990,000 is left, with $543,000 of that earmarked for items but not actually in the budget yet.
When council’s three days of budgeting were over, the tax increase from 2020 was 0.5 per cent.
The average assessed value of a residential property in Salmon Arm in 2020 was valued at $405,660, which equates to a tax increase of $7.91.
The 0.5 per cent tax increase for a residential property equals $1.95 per each $100,000 of assessed value, while for a business property, it equals $5.31 for each multiple of $100,000 of assessed value.