West Kelowna budget focuses on reserves

West Kelowna is moving forward with a potential four per cent tax increase, as it tries to establish stronger financial reserves and encourage the growth of light industry.

  • Jan. 21, 2011 10:00 a.m.

West Kelowna is moving forward with a potential four per cent tax increase, as it tries to establish stronger financial reserves and encourage the growth of light industry.

The original governance study predicted a five per cent tax increase in West Kelowna for the first five years after incorporation.

While 2008 saw that predicted five per cent increase, the tax hike in 2009 was only 2.38 per cent, and 2.25 per cent in 2010.

This year’s increase is mainly focused on building financial reserves for the future.

Council increased the tax multiplier on utilities from six to seven, and decreased it for light industry from three to 2.8.

Chief financial officer Jim Zaffino noted the change in multipliers would mean $23,157 would be added to the municipal tax roll, under $1 per household.

Staff additions include a full-time facilities operator and full-time irrigation technologist, along with several other part-time positions.

The facilities operator at $34,704 is intended to look after the new buildings and facilities acquired by the district, from the Lakeview Heights Community Hall and RCMP building, to the buildings belonging to the Lakeview and Westbank Irrigation Districts, as well as lift and pump stations acquired from the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

The irrigation technologist at $74,250 is intended to analyze water consumption and maintenance of irrigation systems in the 75 West Kelowna parks that have some form of water system.

The position is supposed to reduce the cost incurred by using too much water in parks or by not replacing systems when they should be.

msimmons@kelownacapnews.com

Kelowna Capital News