Here’s a quick look at what to expect during the Village of Pemberton (VOP) Committee of the Whole and regular meetings on Tuesday, Feb. 2. Committee of the Whole will start at 2:30 p.m. while the regular meeting is on tap at 5:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held via Zoom.
2021 budget first draft
To kick off the proceedings, Committee of the Whole will get its first look at the 2021 budget at its first budgeting session.
The draft currently shows “zero increases and Non-Market Change of $75,477,” though Manager of Finance Lena Martin’s report also notes that council will revisit those figures later on in the process after considering project and capital budget numbers.
The draft does also not contain changes to taxes collected on behalf of other governments as those individual bodies, not the VOP, make those decisions.
Martin’s report notes that the draft, with a zero-per-cent tax increase, results in the operating budget having a deficit of $57,382, which is chalked up to there being 27 pay periods, rather than 26, because of the leap year in 2020.
Council will also determine how to use a $987,000 COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant for Local Governments from the federal and provincial governments that came through late in 2020.
The VOP spent just over $63,000 of the grant in 2020 to cover costs such as loss of park event revenue, computers and technology, cleaning supplies, remote meeting expenses, communications and signage and other public works costs. In 2021, the budget proposes tapping into nearly $91,000 of that cash for similar costs, as well as One Mile Lake trail widening, an emergency communications electric sign, a commercial bunker gear washer and dryer for the fire hall and a financial software upgrade.
The current plan is to hold the second budget session at Committee of the Whole on Feb. 16, with a discussion of the budget’s tax implications at Committee of the Whole on March 2. The public budget session is set to take place before council’s regular meeting on March 16, with the third budgeting session, including discussion of the Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw, to follow at Committee of the Whole that afternoon.
The first three readings of the Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw are slated to come before council at its April 13 regular meeting, with fourth and final reading at the April 27 regular meeting. Also on April 27, the first three readings of the Tax Rates Bylaw will come forward, with fourth and final slated for May 11.
One Mile Lake infrastructure upgrades
VOP staff is hoping to see improvements coming to One Mile Lake Park.
Communications and grant coordinator Vinka Hutchinson drafted and submitted an application for infrastructure upgrades to the park to the federal government’s COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream to hit the intake’s Jan. 27 deadline, and will present to council to ask for its endorsement.
Among the upgrades are: installation and tie-in of a new watermain, sanitary force main and electrical line to the One Mile Lake Nature Centre, which is owned and operated by the Stewardship Pemberton Society on lands it leases from the VOP. All of the upgrades were previously identified as priorities in the 2016 One Mile Lake Master Plan.
The total budget for the project is $622,800, with $614,550 eligible to be covered by the grant. The remaining $8,500 is in-kind labour from the public works and communications departments.
Council will hear fourth-quarter reports from the recreation services, development services, operations and Pemberton Fire Rescue departments.