For the 2nd year in a row – Council has decided to increase taxes by nine percent exactly – in anticipation of a hefty cost for policing once the Village/Town reaches the magic marker number of 5000+ in population and becomes a CITY.
That is anticipated in the 2021 Census.
At that time Oliver will pay 70 percent of the cost of policing, cost of a RCMP building, costs of officers, cost or civilian staff etc. That cost could be more than one million dollars – tacked onto – regular spending for water, sewer, roads, general administration etc. Council was informed the cost of each officer – over $175 Thousand and the Town would require 6. Four other officers would work there as well for rural area policing and paid for by a provincial contract.
Town council met today for 4 hours to deal only with the Operating Budget for the General Fund plus capital. All water and sewer issues ( self sustaining operations ) dealt with prior to December 31st so that utility bills could be sent out after the new year.
The 9% tax plan often confuses the general public BUT is actually a good one. There is no general budget cost for policing now. So to make the ratepayers aware of a huge cost in the future the nine percent is introduced or re-introduced now and spent on capital projects and funding reserves.
Council was able to cut back about $60 thousand from the requests of staff on the operating side of things for 2019.
Council was able to determine exactly which capital projects would be funded in 2019 and future years.
Those details will come out over time.
Fairview (Bridge Park) – council decided not to include any budget figure until a cost analysis made on exactly what will be done.
Council did agree on a number of street, sidewalk, safety, paving overlays etc. Those work projects will be examined and publicized over time on ODN.
There is likely to be street speed calming measures made again on Fairview Rd.
A four way stop introduced at Spartan and Fairview in a previous year considered by many as a great success.