A graph presented at a committee of the whole meeting last month shows future capital spending identified in the 2018-2022 financial plan. (CITY OF NANAIMO image)

City council takes next step toward approving financial plan

2018-2022 financial plan passes three readings, property tax increase nudges up to 2.7 per cent

Nanaimo city council passed the first three readings of its financial plan as part of its budgeting process for 2018.

City council decided to move forward with the 2018-2022 financial plan as it works toward next spring’s 2018 budget. Residents are now looking at a 2.7-per cent property tax increase; the previously announced figure of 2.6 per cent was nudged up mostly due to a recent decision on funding downtown security, said Victor Mema, the city’s chief financial officer.

Coun. Bill Bestwick said asset management and staff wage increases ensured a property tax increase of at least two per cent.

“So here we are, we’re really talking about 0.6 per cent that we adjudicate and deliberate on to keep the budget where it is,” he said. “And I’m certain that many people here at this table would like it to be significantly more than that, and I know that there’s some people here that would like some of the money, the way that we spend it, spent differently.”

Coun. Ian Thorpe called it a “minimal budget,” said the increased spending on programs and services doesn’t even cover the cost of inflation and said he isn’t sure he would support future budgets calling for smaller spending increases.

Coun. Jim Kipp pointed to a coming infrastructure deficit and said the city needs to control spending in a time of an economic downturn and higher property assessments.

“We can spend a lot more, but people have to pay for it,” he said. “So I have trouble with the budget just continuing to grow, just continuing to grow and I don’t see a lot of other services we’re getting.”

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong said staff in various city departments came up with doable priorities.

“We looked at must-haves, nice-to-haves, and I believe that the budget prioritizes the must-haves,” she said.

The only council member to vote against the three readings of the financial plan was Coun. Diane Brennan, who said she didn’t see enough in the budget to address issues such as poverty and homelessness.

“The urban problems that we’re seeing moving from a small town into a big town, I see there are lots of problems identified when we talk to our constituents and citizens, but I see very little in this budget,” Brennan said. “I see a very minor tip of the hat to the issues that we face.”

Council will still need to adopt the financial plan in the new year. The 2018 budget doesn’t need to be adopted until late spring.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Storm score a Game 2 win against Buccaneers

VIJHL playoff series between Nanaimo and Campbell River tied 1-1

Wee Tipple Party whiskies and fine foods nourish Nanaimo’s performing arts

Crimson Coast Dance fundraiser happens Friday, March 6, at the Grand Hotel

‘Going green’ en vogue for Prom Closet Nanaimo

Non-profit event looking to make high school prom less cost-prohibitive goes March 5-7

VIU and Nanaimo high schools host Skills Canada competitions

Central Island and Sunshine Coast high school student compete for spots on provincials and nationals

Popular TV series ‘Chesapeake Shores’ renewed for season five

Hallmark Channel show to return to filming in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Notorious B.C. fugitive to be extradited from California on murder charge

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

Most Read