Recreational costs could go up in Lumby

Lumby area residents could be handing out more cash for parks and recreation.

Lumby area residents could be handing out more cash for parks and recreation.

The proposed 2012 budget for the White Valley  Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee is calling for a five per cent increase in the tax requisition. That equates to an additional $35,673 in revenue.

However, director Eugene Foisy says there is no guarantee the budget will be approved as is, and he is aware of financial challenges facing residents.

“There are lots of requests (for services) but we need to keep things where we can afford them,” he said.

The preliminary budget includes increases for most functions, including administration, parks, the arena, the community centre, the curling club, the outdoor pool and programs.

Many of the budget items are related to staff time and utilities like water, sewer and garbage.

There is currently $442,000 in reserves and the budget recommends $170,000 be set aside in the general operating reserve.

“This leaves a minimal balance of $272,000 for the beginning of a reserve fund to replace the facilities,” said Tannis Nelson, community development co-ordinator in a report.

Director Rick Fairbairn believes a lot of work must still be done on the budget.

“Preliminary numbers will be challenging because of the infrastructure reserves required for facilities that must be addressed,” he said.

“The committee will have to consider reserve amounts carefully. These numbers will have an impact on taxpayers.”

The budget doesn’t include a line item for arts and culture but the Monashee Arts Council is asking the committee to proceed with parts of the culture master plan.

Fairbairn isn’t sure what may happen with the culture master plan given economic conditions.

“We are trying to find a balance that will accommodate what we can implement,” he said.

There was a four per cent increase in the parks and recreation tax requisition in 2011. That includes Lumby, rural Lumby and Cherryville.