West Kelowna City Hall—Image credit: City of West Kelowna

West Kelowna council tentatively sets tax hike in budget

The tentative tax hike is set at 3.9%

West Kelowna council has tentatively set a tax hike of 3.88 per cent in their budget.

The impact of the tax increase on an average West Kelowna home valued at $550,000 is $68.78 a year.

During a special council meeting Jan. 15 council approved the tax increase. During deliberations council asked to revisit three items to incorporate in the budget; $50,000 for Wildfire Mitigation into the operating budget, an additional $100,000 for storm drain operations and the hiring of a Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for $83,510.

Jan. 22 council will review the draft of the 2019-2028 Draft Financial Plan.

West Kelowna Mayor, Gord Milsom says that council will discuss adding another RCMP officer after already approving the hiring of one officer.

RELATED: West Kelowna to hire eight more firefighters

“We might talk about a second RCMP officer because the Police Department wants to start a proactive crime reduction team,” said Milsom.

“It’s a public safety budget (overall), there is a lot of money going toward fire and police, but we can afford it,” said Milsom.

The report to council says that if the three items are approved the remaining discretionary funds left will be $254,257 and staff is recommending that these funds go into reserve for one year and then return to council’s discretionary spending in 2020.

RELATED: West Kelowna Council applies for grant to upgrade rec centre

The budget also includes ongoing, year-long funding for security services in Westbank Centre after a trial of the service conducted in 2018 was found successful.

Council had also directed council to include road rehabilitation, sidewalks, a Glenrosa Road upgrade, the Glenrosa Reservoir expansion, the multi-sport facility water main replacement, Gellatly Road Bridge design and construction, Gellatly Road design, an Official Community Plan review and a recreation facilities master plan.

Council will hold a public consultation meeting Feb. 20 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Westbank Lions Community Centre.

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