Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

City of Cranbrook Budget Meeting Notes - March 4-2015

NOTES on the City of Cranbrook Budget Meeting - March 4, 2015

Absent:  Isaac Hockley

CFO Charlotte Osborne guided City Council through the remaining items to be finalized in the budget.

  • Road Program of $3,487,856 includes storm sewers and underground utility lines.
  • The Irrigation Pump Station comes in at $1,750,000 and the City will apply for a Build Canada Grant for this project.
  • Mayor Pratt asked that the two-tier system for Leisure & Recreational services be brought forward.  After discussion it was agreed to drop the two-tier system of paying for these services.  The loss of revenues would be $38,000 to the City.  CAO Staudt indicated that the rates bylaw would need to be amended as the current payment schedule goes to 2016.  Chris New will work on revising the rates schedule in order that Council could amend the bylaw at the earliest possible date.  This could be by May 2015 or sooner.
  • The tax levy increase could be brought down below 3% in 2015 by reducing the transfer to the Recapitalization Reserve by approximately $73,000.  This would bring projected tax increases as follows:  2015 = 2.95%; 2016 = 4.88%; 2017 = 4.59%; 2018 = 4.16%; 2019 = 2.38%.

Carry Forwards:
-  $150,000 for lights at the new Canadian Tire location
  • $70,000 for the MCC study and funding will come from Sewer Fund Accumulated Surplus
  • $49,000 land purchase comes out of Land Sales Reserve.
  • $27,000 to replace the boiler at the Library, to come out of the Library Building Reserve.
  • Idlewild Park Rehabilitation now estimated at $2.8 million versus $2 million.  It is hoped the funds for this will all come from grants.)
  • New equipment for pothole repairs created some discussion.  CFO Osborne recommended putting it in the budget now.  It can come to Council for approval after the research has been done.  It is estimated to come in at $320,000 to $350,000 depending on the tenders received.  This will be funded from Recapitalization Reserve.

Councillor Blissett queried whether another location could be identified for an outdoor rink, during the draw down of the reservoir at Idlewild Park as we will lose that skating rink capacity.  Staff will look at an alternative location in town that would meet the public’s interim requirements for skating next year.

Reserve Funds for 2015 are projected at $18,508,281.

2014 Surplus Unrestricted Accumulated Surplus
General Fund $1,165,122 $6,171,272
Water Fund     534,371   2,033,933
Sewer Fund     205,330   1,679,367
Solid Waste       70,051     489,336
Airport     465,287   3,012,615

The Surplus figures total $15,826,684.

The City has 138 Full time staff, 15 Part-time staff, and 21 seasonal staff.  The current cost of staffing is $12,582,604 from General Fund and $1,327,952 from Water, Sewer and Solid Waste.  2015 costs will require $12,835,160 and $1,360,429 respectively representing a 2% increase from the general fund and 2.4% from water, sewer and solid waste funds.

There were two Staffing Resources Requests:
  1. Reclassification of two positions from Truck Driver Labourer to Trades Assistant (Dept. of Public Works)
  2. Temporary Full-time position of Community Planner to be continued from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.
It was agreed to discuss these positions further at the next Council meeting during the Closed Session of Council, since it related to labour.

New Items:

“A” List items are:
-   Key City Theatre - replacement building planning of $100,000 to come out of Surplus
  • RCMP replacement building planning of $100,000 to come out of Surplus
  • Master Municipal Plan of $11,666 to come out of Surplus
  • Replacement of Arena floor covering for events of $70,000 to come out of Surplus
  • Hydrant Testing of 600 units at $100,000 to come out of surplus
  • The Water Fund will also contribute $11,667 towards the Municipal Master Plan that will come out of Surplus.
  • The Sewer Fund will also contribute $11,667 to the MMP, to also come out of Surplus

“B” List items are:
-  for a sidewalk in front of KIA of $30,000 to come out of DCC’s and contribution by KIA.  This item was removed from the list and may be brought back in 2016.

Public Works:  
  • Mt. Baker Tourist Park entrance paving of $15,000 to come out of Surplus
  • Mt. Baker Tourist Park washroom upgrades of $20,000 to come out of Surplus
  • Elizabeth Lake washrooms at $60,000 to come out of Surplus
  • Permanent Power Pedestals for Rotary Park at $25,000 to come out of Surplus
  • City Hall parking lot at $60,000 to come out of Surplus

“C List items are:
  • 134 - 11 Ave. S. rock retaining wall at $21,137 to come out of Surplus.  Discussion ensued re expropriating the land with the rock wall to do the work.  This item was removed from the list.
-   UCT/ACT Park would like additional benches, and this would come out of Surplus.

A late item was added to the Budget Agenda.  A motion was made to contribute $10,000 in support of Elkford’s deer translocation project.  Other municipalities will have to come forward with some funding to support the cost of the whole project.

Councillor Cardozo thanked the Fire Department for fighting a recent blaze that affected relatives of hers.

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