Lantzville District Hall. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Lantzville District Hall. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Lantzville’s potential property tax increase ticks up to almost 25 per cent

Additional increase due to creation of reserve funds

Lantzville residents could be looking at nearly a 25 per cent property tax increase.

Councillors, during a council meeting on Nov. 4, made some changes to the 2020-2024 financial plan which, if adopted, would result in a 24.7 per cent property tax increase for Lantzville residents, instead of a previously discussed 22.5-per cent hike.

The first move councillors made was passing the first three readings of a proposed property acquisition reserve fund bylaw that would result in a two per cent increase on property taxes for the 2020 budget.

Prior to the regular council meeting, district councillors and staff had gone over the proposed 2020-2024 financial plan during a committee of the whole meeting that was held earlier that day.

Jamie Slater, the district’s chief financial officer, reiterated Lantzville’s financial position to councillors, stressing the need to increase funding to various reserve accounts.

“By the time we hit December 2022 we are in a deficit position, so that means we wouldn’t be able to complete the projects that we have on the schedule,” she said. “That means, that we either need to delay those projects or we need to somehow find more funds to contribute to that reserve or we need to find another funding source for the project, there needs to be something that happens there to address that funding gap.”

Slater said she didn’t know what the answer to addressing the funding gap problem was other than delaying projects.

“We really need to get a hold on our roads asset management and what we are going to do for the next five to 10 years,” she said.

A significant amount of councillors’ discussion was around the possibility of hiring of more staff including a public works employee, who would work for nine months for roughly $98,500. Coun. Jamie Wilson said Lantzville’s public works department is understaffed and has been for years. He said it is obvious by looking at the state of the district’s roads.

“This is infrastructure that we, for years, have not put [money] away for, and therefore that is why we need more public works staff to be out there fixing the potholes on our roads,” Wilson said. “I support that we need more public works staff.”

Mayor Mark Swain commented that without the addition of more public works staff, the district is really “hamstringing” itself.

“We are going to have to look at trying to figure out how we can fund something to move things forward in 2020 because the last thing I want to do is have everything come to a grinding halt,” he said.

Although there was verbal support for additional public works employees, no concrete decision was made during the meeting.

Another decision that came out of the council meeting was the expenditure of $9,800 to “green up” Lavender Road and Harper Road beach ends in the district’s proposed 2020 budget, resulting in a roughly 0.2 per cent tax increase.

While there was little discussion on the proposed property acquisition reserve fund bylaw during last week’s meeting, councillors did discuss the need to include the $9,800 in the 2020 budget.

RELATED: Lantzville’s budget talks starting with potential 22.5-per cent tax hike

Coun. Ian Savage called the $9,800 for beach end improvements a “fabulous idea” that would result in the district eventually acquiring much needed green space near the beach.

“It is just a fabulous opportunity and in a way our current budget doesn’t have a lot of good news in it, this is one thing that can be great news,” he said.

Coun. Karen Proctor called it an “interesting idea” but noted that council had already allocated $1,000 for public consultation on the matter. She questioned what the district would get for nearly $10,000 and wants to see more planning done by the district.

Councillors will continue budget discussions during a committee of the whole meeting on Nov. 13.







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

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

Just Posted

A person experiencing homelessness in downtown Nanaimo last week. (News Bulletin photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Change approach to combatting homelessness

Letter writers express frustration with status quo

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Nanaimo area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo councillors like new sustainable buying policy

Finance and audit committee recommends council approve new procurement policy

Action at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo sports organizations qualify for COVID-19 relief funding

Province announces support for curling, rowing, gymastics, softball, rugby, squash, football clubs

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in B.C. school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Concerned Island school bus driver says people still pass while red lights flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Most Read