It’s budget time at Chilliwack City Hall The public information meeting to offer council feedback is set for Dec. 3, 2019. (Chilliwack Progress file)

Budget 2020 for Chilliwack proposes hiring six new RCMP officers

Plan puts high priority on public safety with new police, fire and bylaw officers

The need for greater investment in policing and public safety figures prominently in the 2020 budget for City of Chilliwack.

A tax increase of 3.32 per cent is on deck for the 2020-2029 Financial Plan, keeping the focus on public safety with plans to hire more RCMP, firefighters and bylaw enforcement personnel.

Some of those new hires will be geared to addressing added pressures on Chilliwack, which has been recognized as having the highest rates of property crime in the Fraser Valley.

The emphasis on beefed up protective services matches public survey results in recent years, in which “policing received the highest ranking of all the different categories,” Glen Savard, director of finance, told council Tuesday in his budget presentation.

The proposed 3.32 per cent breaks down to a base increase of 2.14 per cent to cover inflationary and non-discretionary items, two RCMP members, one additional RCMP support person, one additional firefighter, one bylaw enforcement officer, and an information technology support position.

READ MORE: Survey showed highest priority is public safety

An additional 1.18 per cent (added to the base of 2.14 per cent) provides for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth additional RCMP members, a second RCMP support position, a second firefighter and a second bylaw enforcement officer.

The proposed tax rate hike of 3.32 per cent is slightly lower than last year’s 3.43 per cent increase. In 2018 the tax rate increase for Chilliwack taxpayers was 2.62 per cent.

A road rehab line item of $5.2 million appears under capital plans, along with a two-year program for improved street lighting and LED lighting retrofits, and increased electric vehicle charging stations.

City hall expansion is also being planned out due to population growth. The population of Chilliwack has gone from about 17,000 people in 1959 when the current city hall building opened, to today where the population is estimated at 96,000, Savard underlined.

Through this year’s financial planning and budgeting process, Chilliwack maintains its longstanding title as city with the lowest tax rate of all 19 Lower Mainland municipalities and including when utilities, and fees for regional district and school district are added in.

Chilliwack still has the lowest business tax multiplier in the region as well.

The 2020-2029 Financial Plan Bylaw 2019 was given first and second reading Tuesday afternoon, and the budget presentation by director of finance Glen Savard was received by council.

The public information meeting to offer council feedback is set for Dec. 3, 2019. See more at chilliwack.com/budget or email budget@chilliwack.com

READ MORE: Last year’s was about more RCMP and DT cleaning


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack organ transplant recipients thank hospital staff during Operation Popcorn

Two double-lung recipients helped deliver large boxes of popcorn to say thanks to doctors and nurses

Chilliwack mom gives back to Royal Columbian Hospital NICU with Christmas stocking drive

Ashley Durance is paying it forward to other families and their babies following daughter’s NICU stay

Wild Fishmas event in Chilliwack Sunday for salmon defence

It’s a fish-focused festive fundraiser Dec. 8 at the UFV Indigenous Student Gathering Place

Threats to the Fraser River at a ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Fraser Valley Regional District administration/government costs set to rise by 18%

Mosquito control and fire dispatch costs also set for increase

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Most Read