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

Trail proposed to connect Cedar and Yellow Point

Regional director says project fits with active transportation goals

Woodgrove Centre posts plans to make masks and temperature checks mandatory

Mall advises in letter to customers that rules will come into effect Monday, Sept. 21

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

After testing, Island Health deems water safe around industrial fire site

Concerns about water quality arose after Sept. 10-11 fire at Schnitzer facility in Cassidy

Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting out garbage bins the night before pickup

Conservation officers say they issued seven tickets this week, as warnings weren’t having an impact

Accused in Makayla Chang’s murder sees next court date in October

Steven Michael Bacon faces first-degree murder charge in killing of Nanaimo teen

Regional District of Nanaimo looks to create its own flag

Staff created makeshift flag earlier this year for a conference that ended up getting cancelled

Nanaimo senior defrauded out of $14,000 in ‘grandson scam’

80-year-old victim was told her grandson was out-of-province and in legal trouble

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

One person dead in two-vehicle accident in North Island

Highway 19A was closed for several hours north of Courtenay following the crash

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Most Read