Trail council begins budget deliberations

Former clinic and Old Trail Bridge; Two costly teardowns on the horizon

Trail council began annual budget talks in earnest this week with an overview of both the upcoming financial blueprint and the five-year plan, as well as specific capital funding and associated projects for 2020.

The initial forecast to cover operations over the next 12 months has a 5.38 per cent increase, or $786,350, attached to it.

What this means to the owner of the average residential home valued at $230,062 is roughly a $75 municipal property tax increase compared to 2019.

That said, council may still decide to round it up to an even six per cent, thereby adding a further $90,000 to the coffers.

At this point there are no hiccups being anticipated that could impact the financial outlook, other than a snow removal budget possibly exceeding the budget allotted.

Looking to the months ahead, Coun. Carol Dobie says this year’s priorities are mostly about taking things down rather than building them up. This approach, excluding demolishing the old Union Hotel last summer, is unlike the past several years which had Trail building new landmarks like the Skywalk, Riverfront Centre and in 2018/19, the Trail Sk8Park.

“I think we are in a pretty good financial situation,” Dobie said. “And I am one of the biggest worriers about money, I really try to watch our spending.”

What will impact the budget this year, she says, are planning for one big teardown in downtown Trail and one monumental teardown a little further south.

“Our priority this year was going to be the hospital hill, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,” she explained. “So we’ve got to consider tearing down the old clinic (former C.S. Williams Clinic) and the Old Trail Bridge that’s hanging over our heads.”

The current budget nears $29 million representing an increase in expenditures of $921,000 over last year.

“In addition to focusing on the total budget that is derived from consolidating the individual departmental expenditure and revenue budgets, council pays close attention to the net property tax levy and the increase over last year,” Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff said.

“Most significantly, $350,000 or 44.5 per cent of the net increase is attributed to a capital transfer to the Statutory Reserve Fund to deal with the eventual demolition costs for the Old Trail Bridge,” he clarified. “When council considered the 2020 preliminary budget in August 2019, they directed staff to advance the budget with no more than a six per cent increase in property taxes that fully considered the financial issues that the city should address.”

New residential assessments are estimated at $4.5 million, which generates additional tax revenue in the amount of $18,800 for the City of Trail.

As well, each one per cent increase on municipal property tax generates an additional tax revenue of $146,100.

In 2016 the flat tax for residential properties was increased from $130 to $260 to offset the impacts that resulted from disproportionate changes in housing assessments on a year over year basis.

The flat tax has, and will, remain unchanged.

Each year council is legally required to review and approve the annual City of Trail budget by May 15, and the complimentary five-year financial plan.

In 2019, the homeowner of an average-priced property valued at $218,000 per BC Assessment owed the city $1,289 on or before July 2. This equated to a 3.5 per cent increase, or $49 more than the previous year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kiwanis, Ferraro Foods helping Trail seniors stay safe

Kiwanis rallies to provide Trail seniors grocery delivery service

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes the Kootenays

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout parts of B.C. and Alberta

COVID-19 adds worry and unexpected costs to Castlegar woman’s cancer fight

Community fundraiser raises $9,000 for Jennifer Rodrigues’ family

Castlegar and Trail Chevron offering free gas for front line workers

Health care, fire, police, paramedics included in offer

Grand Forks distillery shifts to make sanitizer

How a Grand Forks distillery is stepping up during the COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

COVID-19 case confirmed at restaurant in Cache Creek: Interior Health

Customers who visited the site from March 25 to 27 are asked to self-isolate

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

First COVID-19 outbreak in Interior Health identified at Okanagan agricultural business; 14 cases confirmed

75 workers are in isolation — 63 migrant workers and 12 local workers

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Most Read