Public budget discussions are getting underway in North Saanich on Thursday.
The proposed draft budget before councillors proposes to raise revenue from property taxes by 2.67 per cent, or $293,000, an increase of $21 for the average municipal property.
A breakdown of the available figures shows that 46 per cent of the increase is slotted for replacing capital infrastructure, as the budget includes $10 million of new capital works designed to maintain and replace existing assets. Just under 32 per cent of the is going towards core municipal operations and library. By way of background, total operating expenses top $17.9 million. Just over 22 per cent of the increase is towards contingency and the agricultural reserve fund.
The draft also includes a 4.2 per cent increase in the basic water rate, a 1.6 per cent change in the annual sewer rate, as well as a proposed increase to the water infrastructure replacement parcel tax of $100.
Thursday’s budget discussions starting at 9 a.m. will include presentations from not only staff, but also several groups, including the Sidney Museum and Archives, which is asking for an additional $20,000 to help fund an additional staff. Sidney last month approved its share of $20,000 towards the additional staff.
More significantly, councillors will hear from the Peninsula Football Club, which is asking for $700,000 towards the creation of two artificial fields at Blue Heron Park in North Saanich. The club is asking all three municipalities on Saanich Peninsula for a total of $1.3 million, with Sidney and Central Saanich contributing $300,000 each. The club said in a report that it would commit between $200,000 and $300,000 in-kind funding towards the project, which the club would like to see get underway this spring.
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