Enderby sticks to no tax hike

Enderby residents won’t be hit by higher taxes in 2011, but that’s unlikely in subsequent years.

Council has adopted this year’s financial plan, which includes no increase in residential property taxes.

“A lot of work went into the process,” said Mayor Dee Wejr, adding that a decision was made to hold the line on taxes because of the impact of the recession on people.

“We took a lot of time discussing the budget and looking at it.”

Wejr would not speculate on whether taxes will climb in 2012.

“Next year, who knows. There could be some changes because we’ve had zero for a couple of years and it can’t stay that way,” she said.

Wejr points out that the cost of operating the city increases, whether it is for labour, supplies or fuel.

“Taxes can’t stay at zero forever,” she said.

Also adopted by council are utility rates for 2011.

Sewer and water user fees are climbing 1.3 per cent each.

The net impact to a single-family dwelling with a 100-foot frontage is $36.56. Of that, $30 is related to the borrowing of funds for sewer capital projects.

The city is also seeking federal gas tax funds for  a bioenergy heating system.

As part of the proposal, a local supplier would install bioenergy equipment for heating the public works building, the dog pound, the sewer sludge drying beds and a future shed.

A boiler and chipper would use existing wood waste that is currently being burned or hauled to the landfill.

“This will serve as a pilot for a broader community heating system in the industrial/commercial area and for consideration in the Knoll neighbourhood development area,” states a city staff report.

The estimated project cost is $296,700 and Wejr believes it is worth pursuing through a federal grant.

“If it helps with greenhouse gas emissions, that’s great,” she said.