After much stress and hard work, the City of Kimberley’s 2022-2026 Five-Year Financial Plan arrived at Council on Monday, April 25, 2022 for its first three readings. It will be adopted before May 15, 2022.
As previously stated, property tax across all classes, from light industrial to residential, will be 5.58%. The increase is mainly due to two years of nominal increases or no increase. As Mayor Don McCormick said at a previous meeting, it was time to catch up with inflation.
The final version of the financial plan included additional budget requests from department heads for various projects. They include an additional $28,544 to upgrade an assistant engineer from part-time to full-time. The much talked about retroactive payment of RCMP salaries will be $227,000. These funds were set aside in a reserve because the city had anticipated the payment. There is also an increase of $55,891 in the RCMP operating budget.
New costs for the replacement of the treatment plant are also integrated into the plan. The 2022-2026 financial plan projects that the cost of the new treatment plant, including associated off-site works and other related expenses, will amount to $95,220,375, with expenses of $43,536,613 being realized. in 2024, $47,102,103 in 2025, and the remaining $4,581,659 in 2026. All of these expenses are entirely dependent on whether the city secures the necessary grants to fund two-thirds of the project.
Capital budget changes include a budget increase of $7,778 for the replacement of a fire truck in the second year of the plan. An additional $75,000 is also being requested for the Center 64 roofing project, as a number of issues were discovered early in the work. An additional $34,849 is added to the City Hall entrance for the fire training room. $18,614 is added to major repairs to the conference center. While Resorts of the Rockies operates the center, the city handles major repairs. This year, there were cracks due to the settlement of the building.
The council noted that as many buildings in the city age, these types of requests for additional budget to deal with emerging issues will become more common. Coupled with rising inflation, it may be prudent to build in a contingency in future projects, McCormick said.
McCormick praised the staff for their work financially and added that the city has healthy reserves that they have worked hard to build up in previous years.
“The 5.5% increase is exclusively aimed at inflation,” he said. “We have managed to control our expenses. We stay in shape with the projects we need to get done.