The Town of Golden is committed to sound financial management and developing a responsible budget. On May 3, Council adopted the 2022 budget and five-year financial plan with a focus on responsible spending including a number of acquired grants and borrowing. While the approved budget will not balance the effects of inflation, it will help the municipality keep up with inflation while maintaining service levels.
“As we emerge from the pandemic years with renewed resilience, we are seeing, now and over the last two years, an entirely unexpected level of development activity, grant application success, planned infrastructure replacements, service pressures, and internal staffing changes, all propelling us forward,” said Mayor Ron Oszust. “The approved budget will help the Town continue to keep up with inflation, albeit not balancing its effect, as we plan to re-examine our reserve policy in 2023 to ensure adequate balances in forthcoming years.”
By provincial law, municipalities must adopt a balanced budget and financial plan before May 15 of each year. For the second year in a row, the Town used an online survey as part of the public consultation process in addition to traditional methods. The online survey was available from April 12-25 and received 72 responses. The information collected from the survey helped inform and very much aligned with Council’s decisions in adopting the budget and financial plan. To learn about the results of the survey, visit golden.ca/budget.
Following the budget and financial plan process, Council adopted the 2022 Tax Rates Bylaw on May 9. Set over several classes of property, tax rates determine how much each property class contributes to the budget.
“We were extra careful this year,” explained Mayor Oszust. “We looked at the assessments for business and residential properties and the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic.”
Based on the 2022 BC Assessments, property values have risen on average by around 30% for residential and commercial properties in Golden since last year. However, despite a municipal tax budget increase of 5%, the mill rates (the amount of tax payable per thousand dollars of the assessed value of a property) for the Town of Golden have decreased:
- The mill rate for residential properties has decreased to 4.14 (down from 5.2147 in 2021)
- The mill rate for commercial properties has decreased to 11.0694 (down from 12.38 in 2021)
What does this mean for the average homeowner?
- If your property value increased by 25% or less, your municipal taxes will decrease.
- If your property value increased by the average (30%), your municipal taxes will increase by approximately 3.21% (an additional $1.07 per month for every $100,000 in assessment value).
“2022 will be a year of growth and moving forward,” said Chief Administrative Officer, Jon Wilsgard. “We’ve been very fortunate to receive a number of small and large grants and an opportunity to borrow funds to address both core infrastructure and community improvements. Our organization will see some changes through re-structuring as we see increasing retirements, shifting demands, and new responsibilities.”
Here are a few of the initiatives residents can expect to see happen in 2022:
- The newly redesigned website Town website (golden.ca) project wraps up.
- Corporate Services is responsible for administering the 2022 municipal election for Golden. Save the date for the October 15 General Local Election.
- Bylaw will continue to focus on education and enforcement of the Town of Golden.
- Residents will see the complete renewal of the 600 block of 9th Ave N. Work on 9th St. N between IGA and Ford is underway and will be substantially complete by the end of June for an estimated cost of no more than $2.5M.
- The Town will entirely repave four blocks of 9th Street South from the traffic lights to the Seniors Centre due to a combination of protecting a good road base, responsible phased asset management and a very good quote for works under $300,000.
- 2022 will see the continued upgrading and maintenance of our community dike infrastructure with over $1.4M in grants funding additional armouring and height increases along sections of the Kicking Horse River this fall and Hospital Creek upstream of the Trans-Canada Highway.
- At a largely grant-funded cost of approximately $311,000, the 8th Avenue Walkway will provide a wide paved walkway that is a safer and interesting conduit between Durand Manor and the pedestrian bridge.
- The Town will be completing work on the transportation and active transportation plans in 2022. Anticipated to cost about $180,000 together with $31,000 coming from grants, the plans will set a vision for the future of our community through the lens of all forms of transportation and serve as one of the benchmarks guiding our renewal of the Official Community Plan.
- Work will continue on an unprecedented number of development applications.
- In partnership with the Golden Rotary Club and Golden Skateboard Association, grant funding has been secured to install a new outdoor skating surface and basketball court Rec-Plex grounds. Work is currently underway.
- The entire Mount 7 Rec Plex court surface will be replaced in 2022. The estimated $280,000 cost is 80% funded by grants and third party contributions.
- In partnership with the Golden Skateboard Association, the Town is currently accepting proposals for the Golden Skateboard Association Golden Freeride Skatepark Expansion project for the design and build of phases one and two of the project.
- The Fire Hall will be undergoing construction to upgrade the washrooms to include gender neutral washroom and shower facilities. This will include a new National Fire Protection Association rated washing machine for bunker gear.
“Lastly, this is an election year which means Council is reflecting on the last four years and the next,” said Mayor Oszust. “As a Council we are proud of the many accomplishments of this local government over the past four years and this last year of our term to be no less in service delivery and community improvement.”