The District of 100 Mile House has prepared its 2015 five-year financial plan and is ready to present it to the public after receiving three readings by council at its March 10 meeting.
District financial administration director Flori Vincenzi says the 2015 budget of $6,256,120 includes a buffer for unforeseen utility operations, based on last year’s expenditures.
Those included repairs and upgrades to water mains damaged during the 2014 spring breakup, she notes.
“In 2014, it was budgeted at $647,595 for utilities. So it has drastically increased this year, to try and accommodate for some of those breakages.
“We look at [the previous year], especially now with the infrastructure aging … it was an exceptional year last year, so we allowed for some of it, in case it happens again this year.”
Noting it is too early to know with the frost still in the ground, Vincenzi says if necessary, the District will adjust it in June, like it did last year
“Hopefully, it will be on keel for what we’ve budgeted for . But, we are not alone, there are a lot of towns in the same position as we are.”
She explains connection fees and sewer and water frontage taxes collected in excess of what is needed for debt payments are transferred to capital reserves for unexpected projects, currently at $123,885.
“Those frontage taxes are going up five per cent a year as well, in order to get a little more [for this], and it is strictly for the capital component of the budget.”
Capital expenditures are set at $1,988,000 for 2015, and if all goes well, the District will see some long-planned projects come to fruition.
“The big one is the Alpine Water Main [project], and this is proposed to be in two phases – but it is only going to go ahead if we get the grant funding [in October].”
The other budget component for the water utility is a pressure reducing valve (PRV) replacement, she adds.
Vincenzi says a sidewalk will be installed to extend up to Eight Street, and some aging equipment to be replaced includes a new bobcat toolkit, and community service and fire department vehicles.
If it gets to a point where there is unused money in the budget, it is transferred to reserves at the end of the year to keep the budget at a zero balance, she notes.
An example of this is the $179,000 transfer to the equipment reserve that holds federal-provincial gas tax funding, she adds.
Noting the biggest capital expenditure budget in the whole five-year plan is the jump to $4.45 million next year – most of it for the Well #4 upgrade. Vincenzi says that project is also conditional on securing necessary grant funding.
The District will present the updated 2015-2019 financial plan to the public on April 14 in council chambers (time to be announced). For more information, call the District office at 250-395-2434.