Lantzville District Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)

Lantzville District Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)

Lantzville staff and council trim projected tax increase

Staff stresses asset management funding gap

The District of Lantzville is looking at delaying road work and financing a fire truck and dump truck over five years in order to limit a projected tax increase for 2021.

The municipality started its financial planning process last month, and on Monday, Nov. 9, councillors made a series of motions that trimmed the potential tax increase from 24.2 per cent to 7.7 per cent.

The most significant budget adjustment was cutting $150,000 from a recommended $200,000 increase to the roads reserve fund contribution. The decision could result in certain road work being deferred beyond 2025, noted a staff report.

As well, financing a $350,000 fire truck and a $110,000 dump truck starting in 2022 instead of buying them outright that year will save the district $100,000 in contributions to reserves in 2021.

Another noteworthy change to the budget came after the district learned last week that more than $70,000 in operating costs will be covered by COVID-19 recovery funding for local government administration.

Lantzville’s director of financial services Jamie Slater told council Oct. 5 that the district has an asset management funding gap of about $437,000 annually, and recommended an extra $271,800 go toward addressing that gap. By reducing the road reserve fund contribution, council is instead budgeting a $121,800 increase to reserve funding in 2021.

Slater said Lantzville’s mill rates have “absolutely benefited taxpayers over the years,” but have created infrastructure funding gaps. As examples, she pointed out that buying a fire truck and dump truck without financing in 2022 would have drained those reserves to zero.

“We’re significantly far behind in terms of the amount of money that we’ve contributed to reserves and that’s just for our core municipal infrastructure – things like roads, things like public works equipment,” she said.

Coun. Ian Savage had asked that the roads reserve fund contribution increase be cut $200,000 to keep it at 2020 levels, but the majority of council supported the $150,000 cut that staff presented as an option.

“There’s a lot of roads in Lantzville that if we don’t replace them, I think we’re going to go back to covered wagons going up and down the hills because that’s all that’s going to be left, is some ruts,” said Coun. Will Geselbracht.

Mayor Mark Swain, toward the end of Monday’s budgeting session, expressed surprise that council had whittled the projected tax increase down to 7.7 per cent and wondered if council was removing too much from reserve contributions.

“We’ll see where [the financial plan] goes in terms of asset management, maybe it’s a little low,” Swain said. “But we’ll let things percolate and we’ll see what we do with this financial plan. There’s still time.”

The district is expected to hold first, second and third readings of a financial plan bylaw on Nov. 23 and could adopt the bylaw Dec. 7.

The District of Lantzville’s property tax increase was 19.9 per cent in 2020.

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

Local poet and VIU professor Sonnet L’Abbé wrote and performed a song as part of the city’s Reimagine Nanaimo campaign. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo/Port Theatre)
Poet pens song as part of city’s Reimagine Nanaimo campaign

Sonnet L’Abbé encourages a friend to move to the city in ‘Nazaneen: A Song for Nanaimo’

Const. Joshua Waltman brings knowledge gained from working with people experiencing homelessness in Surrey to his new role as the RCMP’s mental health liaison officer in Nanaimo where he will work with people from across society who find themselves struggling with mental health crisis. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo RCMP’s mental health liaison says his role will take persistence and resilience

Const. Joshua Waltman talks about limiting anxiety and gaining trust of people in mental crises

Janice Perrino, Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation CEO, holds information brochures for the Light the Trees campaign, part of an effort to raise $5 million for the new intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Million-dollar donation has Light the Trees campaign off to a bright start in Nanaimo

Windsor Plywood Foundation supports Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation

Regional District of Nanaimo will be receiving $1.17 million from the B.C. government in COVID-19 safe restart grant money. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo directors getting started on budgeting decisions

Proposed tax requisitions for 2021 range from 7.3-per cent increase to 2.2-per cent decrease

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson takes her oaths of office virtually on Thursday. (B.C. Government YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson named B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister

Malcolmson succeeds Judy Darcy, who did not seek re-election

Police in Nanaimo never know what they’ll encounter when called upon to check on the well-being of people. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP find ‘heart-breaking’ circumstances during wellness checks

Police offer sampling of outcomes from well-being checks over recent weeks

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read