The Town is committed to sound financial management and developing a responsible budget. The proposed budget and five-year financial plan focuses on increasing reserves to provide funding for the renewal of Town assets and maintaining levels of services for residents.
“In 2020, we saw great challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a municipality and as a community,” said Mayor Ron Oszust. “We see both exciting and challenging times ahead. Soon we will see our downtown transform with the completion of the Kicking Horse River dike project and soon we will be asking the community for permission to borrow funds for necessary infrastructure improvements in the downtown. This will all take place as we take the necessary steps as an organization to deliver programs and services to the community, while preserving our financial health.”
At the March 9, Special Open Council meeting, Mayor and Council passed the first reading of the proposed budget and five-year financial plan.
Highlights from the Budget:
- Budget increase: Council is targeting a 5 per cent budget increase for 2021. This follows Council’s decision to implement a zero per cent increase in 2020 as part of the COVID-19 relief measures. The increase this year will make sure that the municipality keeps up with inflation, while maintaining service levels and contributing to reserves. As always, the Town will be actively searching for as many grants as possible to alleviate the local tax burden for planned capital projects.
- Water and sewer rate increases: the single residential rate will increase by 5 per cent for water and 5 per cent for sewer in 2021. This will be an increase of about $2.83 a month for a single residential property.
- 2021 Notable expenditures and initiatives: the final phase of the Kicking Horse Dike Improvement project will be completed by July; the downtown plaza (in front of the Post Office) will see a complete redesign this fall; we will replace the community entrance sign along Reflection Lake; we have purchased a new fire truck replacement that may be delivered as soon as this fall; and we will be asking permission in a formal process this spring to borrow monies to help fund the complete renewal of the streetscape from IGA to the Downtown Carwash.
“For the first time this year, and driven by the conditions of the pandemic, we are introducing an online survey as part of the public consultation process,” said Chief Administrative Officer, Jon Wilsgard. “We encourage residents to participate and provide their thoughts. This is a chance for the community to ask questions, give feedback, learn about the different services the Town offers, and understand Council’s direction for 2021 and beyond.”
Residents are invited to provide feedback on the proposed budget and financial plan through the following opportunities:
- Take the online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/TOG2021Budget from now until March 26.
- Attend the Virtual Coffee with Council.
- March 23 frm 5 to 7 p.m. virtually via Zoom, click here to register and attend.
- Attend the next Council Meeting: there will be space on the next agenda for a conversation with Council about the proposed budget:
- Email: send an email firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “2021 budget.”
- Mail: send mail to the Corporate Officer at Box 350, Golden, B.C, V0A 1H0.
The public consultation period ends on March 26, 2021.
For more information, and to stay informed, visit golden.ca/budget.