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Infrastructure focus of Lumby budget plan
Lumby officials insist that taxes must climb to prepare for the future.
Council gave first reading to the 2013 budget Monday.
“We’re putting more money into reserves because we need a new public works building and there is other infrastructure,” said Coun. Lori Mindnich.
“There are roads that need to be done. We want to save up money to do it right and plan ahead.”
While the general tax requisition is climbing 2.5 per cent, a loss of industrial assessments could lead to an increase on the average home owner of three per cent.
The hike will generate $25,000 for the village.
“Reserves were established to provide funding towards the eventual replacement of roads, sidewalks, storm sewers, water and sewer lines,” said Ken Klassen, the village’s director of finance.
“The village has about $23 million in assets which are 35 per cent depreciated.”
Klassen says the village has been able to hold operating expenditures stable for the last two years while maintaining levels of service without tax increases.
“The only increases council has implemented have been to reserve for asset replacement,” he said.
If the 2013 budget is adopted as is, the average home may see a $23.24 increase in taxes.
Mayor Kevin Acton is pleased with the budget process.
“Staff did a great jo and went through the budget with a fine-tooth comb. If we didn’t put money into reserves, there would be a decrease in taxes,” he said.
However, given the condition of infrastructure, Acton says a tax decrease “would be completely irresponsible.”
Mindnich admits that many residents are experiencing financial challenges but a certain level of funding is required to protect the community’s assets.
“Residents understand that we have to save money to do infrastructure. We need the sewer to work and the roads to work,” she said.
“There are no bells and whistles with this one (budget).”