Mission budget proposes 1.49 % hike in property tax; 2% for utilities

The proposed budget will be presented Nov. 5 prior to council meeting

A 1.49 per cent property tax increase plus a two per cent utilities increase is being proposed for 2013.

The total impact on the average home in Mission ($391,000) is $51.31.

A 1.49 per cent increase will give Mission $396,000 to help reduce its $17-million debt (as of Dec. 31, 2011).

This year’s budget addresses debt retirement, frees up funds for future infrastructure maintenance and replacement, said Kerri Onken, Mission’s deputy treasurer/collector.

Mission had borrowed money to build a fire hall, emergency operation centre, Leisure Centre, Sports Park, and water and sewer infrastructure. Now some of that debt is up for renewal.

“At the 10-year anniversary, we can pay down or pay off the debt so we don’t incur future principle and interest payments,” said Onken, noting not all of it is up for renewal in 2013, but the district’s strategy will be implemented over the next three years.

The plan will see $5.7 million from reserves used to pay out existing debt in 2013 and 2014, which would save about $4.5 million in interest over 10 years. Water utility would be debt free in 2014, rather than 2024, and sewer utility would be debt free in 2016, rather than 2024.

Service levels in Mission will be unchanged as the district is implementing different processes to save money. The district’s restructuring eliminated 6.3 positions earlier this year, which provides an ongoing savings of about $600,000, according to Chief Administrative Officer Ken Bjorgaard in his report. He also added another $409,000 in savings were found through a detailed department review.

The budget also allows for two new positions, manager of asset/infrastructure and a manager of citizen engagement and corporate initiatives at a cost of $218,933. Additional support for economic development, transit and snow removal were built into the budget. The district’s top three operating expenditures are public safety (33 per cent and a budget of $13.4 million), Parks, Recreation and Culture (14 per cent; $5.6 million), and Administration (13 per cent; $5 million). Public safety includes RCMP and fire/rescue service, while administration includes council expenses, financing, corporate administration, purchasing, and municipal buildings, excluding the Leisure Centre.

Most of these items are not paid for through taxation, explained Onken. For example, user fees pay for the majority of the costs to run the Parks, Recreation and Culture department.

The top three items, paid by taxation, are policing ($9 million), public works ($3.4 million) and fire/rescue service ($2.5 million).

District staff will present the proposed budget to the public Nov. 5 before a council meeting inside council chambers at 6 p.m.

Just Posted

Publication ban on Letisha Reimer’s name lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by The News to lift ban

Mission girl gets her wish to go to Disneyworld

Children’s Wish Foundation, Vancouver Christmas Market and Vancouver Canucks help raise funds

Double-lung transplant a success for Abbotsford girl, 12

Surgery performed Sunday in Toronto for Autumn Carlson

Man sentenced for 9 robberies praised by judge for efforts to change life

Scott Kuebeck previously pleaded guilty to robberies in Abbotsford and Chilliwack

PHOTOS: Mission seniors treated to live Nativity scene, Christmas carols

Members of the Mission Donkey and Mule Club, their family and friends all come together for event

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

Porter Stanley is one of 30 people in the world to be diagnosed with Beare-Stevenson syndrome, a craniofacial disorder.

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

Watchdog called after man says Coquitlam cop shut car door on his leg

The Independent Investigations Office is probing an incident that occurred in Coquitlam last weekend

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Station 3 fundraises for Mission Christmas Bureau

A total of 2,500 pounds of food and just over $6,630 in cash raised from two events

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Most Read