The District of 100 Mile House Council agreed to a zero per cent tax increase for 2020 at the May 12 council meeting, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty in the forest industry.
The due date for taxes remains July 1, however, the penalty date is Oct. 1 instead of the normal date of July 2. They’ve also implemented a temporary student hiring freeze, to be reviewed monthly, and have agreed to minimize travel, training, legal and other discretionary costs.
The District of 100 Mile House is expecting to see over $200,000 in reduced revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a number of expenditure reductions that are estimated to have a positive effect in the $60,000 to $70,000 range.
Council agreed to defer $1.6 million in capital projects to ensure cash flow.
The Cariboo Trail Sidewalk project, for which the recommended tender was for $1,038,450 from Bree Contracting Ltd., was rejected and will be reconsidered in 2021. Council also agreed to defer the Valley Room Upgrade project.
They will petition BC Transit to fund the operating shortfall for 2020.
What did get approved was a 9th street water main project for the installation of 100 metres of eight-inch water main complete with hydrant and valving upgrades. The project will be cost-shared with Cariboo Ridge Homes on a 50/50 basis plus a $5,000 contingency on the district side. The purchasing policy will be waived in order to complete the project prior to planned paving in late May.
Cariboo Ridge Homes is required to upgrade the water main as a condition of subdivision. The benefit to the district is that the Spruce Street section of the water system does not have sufficient fire flows, meaning they’re unable to isolate Spruce Street should the need arise. The budgeted cost is $30,000 from the district and $25,000 from Cariboo Ridge Homes.
Additionally, council renewed the Joint Use Facilities agreement between the District of 100 Mile, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD), School District 27, the Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake Campus and the City of Williams Lake, though the Martin Exeter Hall/Valley Room complex remains excluded. Counsel also voted to renew cost-sharing BC Transit Services with the CRD on a 50/50 basis with the cost for the 2020/21 operating season estimated at $200,022.
The service includes service for 100 Mile House, 103 Mile, 108 Mile Ranch and the southern portion of Lac la Hache.