The District of 100 Mile House invited the public’s feedback last Thursday before approving its five-year Financial Plan.
About six people turned out for the Coffee with Council session, in which Tammy Boulanger, director of financial information, outlined the costs and projects for the year ahead.
“Every dollar we spend comes out of someone else’s pocket and we don’t take spending lightly,” she said. “Our doors are always open and it’s important that the residents know that.”
The District collects taxes on behalf of the CRD, the province and School District 27. Boulanger noted 40 per cent of council’s funding - $3,091,975 - comes from property and parcel taxes. Of that amount 30 per cent comes from business and 26 per cent from residential taxes.
“During budget conversations, we like to highlight how much comes from business and how important it is to support our local businesses,” she said. “In turn, they pay a lot of the taxation revenue in town.”
Several projects are expected to be completed in 2023, including an $841,000 fire truck for 100 Mile Rescue and new public washrooms behind the South Cariboo Visitors Centre. The replacement of the Horse Lake Road Bridge, at a cost of $3.2 million, is expected to be completed between 2024-2027, depending on permits and other paperwork.
Todd Conway, the director of community services, said a big portion of the bridge’s funding is grant money that needs to be used up by 2026.
Residents can expect a hike in most services this year. The community services budget, for instance, will increase 5.8 per cent, from $1.4 million to $1.5 million to cover an increase in wages, fleet maintenance costs, utilities and insurance. Community services include street lighting, community events and maintaining sidewalks and roads, snow removal and transit.
Other increases are expected for environmental health (5.8 per cent), utility services (1.9 per cent), and parks and recreation (2.8 per cent). Protective services and planning and economic development will see a drop in the budget this year.
The biggest boost is in general governance, which will go up by 10.3 per cent to $1 million, largely due to council’s acquisition of the 100 Mile Community Hall last year.
100 Mile Mayor Maureen Pinkney said council’s next big project will be the renovation of the hall. Work has already started on drawing up plans for its design. Another coffee with council meeting is slated for April for more public feedback on the plans.
“We want to get people’s thoughts on how much money we’re going to spend on it and how to make it usable,” Pinkney said.
Anyone with questions or concerns can contact the District office at 250-395-2434.