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.

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

Just Posted

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Plecas pitches an idea to fix Canadian prisons

Bringing you highlights from 128 years of Chilliwack Progress news coverage.

MP is urging people to weigh in on MAiD consultation

Online consultation will be taking feedback on assisted dying until Monday, January 27

Court Tuesday for Chilliwack MLA’s former constituency assistant charged with fraud

Fourth court appearance since October for Desmond Devnich who also faces breach of trust charges

Westbound Highway 1 roll-over crash slowing commuters in Abbotsford

Accident occurred just west of Mt. Lehman Road, left lane blocked

Fraser Valley snow storms finally fade

Six snowstorms in seven days pours on more than 40 cm

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Deer carcass strung up at Surrey fire hall prompts investigation

Investigation underway following complaint a Surrey firefighter hung a deer carcass in a fire hall

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read