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Vernon budget to cost homeowners less than $9 monthly

Council endorses 5.49 per cent tax hike
A total of 23 capital projects are on the books for 2024 in Vernon after city council endorsed the five-year financial plan Monday, Dec. 4. Residents will face a 5.49 per cent tax hike. (Morning Star file photo)

Signed, sealed, delivered, debated, amended, endorsed.

Vernon council signed off on the five-year, 2024-2028 financial plan Monday, Dec. 4, with a total budget increase of 5.49 per cent.

Homeowners can expect their tax bill to raise $8.50 per month, or $102 annually, based on the average assessed value of residential properties in the city ($690,412).

“The 2024 budget emphasizes council’s dedication to community well-being, centring on maintaining core municipal services to support the evolving needs of a growing populace while staying aligned with Council’s 2023-2026 strategic plan,” said Mayor Victor Cumming.

“While deliberating the budget, council carefully and thoughtfully considered the balance between affordability and community needs. This budget allocates resources crucial to sustain the essential services and daily operations our citizens rely upon.”

The 2024 budget includes the addition of two new RCMP officers, two support members to the RCMP, four new firefighter positions, and a full-time FireSmart coordinator.

Municipal operations will also get a boost through funding for key positions that will help provide existing services, including recreation.

“The community is growing and so are the demands on the services we offer as a municipality,” said Cumming. “Council’s strategic plan makes clear that community safety and proactive planning are key areas of focus. The addition of these positions will ensure our community is appropriately prepared and positioned to meet the needs of our community.”

Tax funding for the Active Living Centre (ALC) will begin in 2025.

The city’s Infrastructure Renewal program continues with direct investment in roads, utilities, and parks. There are 23 capital projects planned in 2024, totaling $29 million, for which $7.2 million will come from taxes.

Some of the larger projects are:

• Infrastructure improvements at Pleasant Valley Road and 39th Avenue intersection - $4.83 million;

• Infrastructure replacement on 32nd Avenue from 18th Street to 20th Street - $2.53 million;

• Infrastructure replacement at the 43rd Street Vernon Creek crossing - $4.55 million;

• New mountain bike facilities at Becker Park - $962,000;

• The extension of sanitary sewer collector pipe to a portion of non-serviced areas in the Okanagan Landing area, utilizing horizontal directional drilling - $1.2 million.

The projects contained in the 2024 Capital Program are consistent with the city’s Rolling Five-Year Infrastructure Plan.

“As a council, we recognize that the cost of living is increasing and that inflationary pressures are creating financial difficulties for many people. As a municipality, we feel these pressures as well,” said Cumming.

“However, the decisions we made to support increased service levels and to fund critical infrastructure projects are prudent ones. This budget along with our 2023 – 2026 Strategic Plan makes clear that we are preparing for what we expect will be a steady increase in growth over the coming years.”

You can get more information on the 2024 – 2028 Financial Plan and the 2024 budget at the city’s website,

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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