Budget info meeting is Jan. 22 at city hall. (Chilliwack Progress file)

Council approves the Chilliwack 2019 financial plan with added policing and DT cleanups

Public input can still be offered at public information meeting set for Jan. 22

Council approved the first two readings of the 2019 Financial Plan Tuesday at city hall which comes with a 3.43 per cent tax increase this year.

A public information meeting on the budget is set for Jan. 22.

The emphasis was on beefing up policing services, with six new RCMP to be hired, and two support positions, along with increased bylaw personnel and added resources for cleaning up the downtown.

“I’m encouraged we are going in the right direction,” Mayor Ken Popove said.

Finance director Glen Savard presented the budget details in council chambers, pointing out that it is a popular misconception to assume that an increase in property assessments will automatically mean an increased tax bill.

“This is not the case,” Savard said.

In terms of community engagement, council provided two survey opportunities for citizens to offer up their spending priorities, and results were “fairly consistent” with previous surveys, where a large number of respondents said increased policing services, and road rehab were high priorities.

In fact, policing, which accounts for 32 per cent of the budget, was the only service where residents said they’d like to see a higher spending allocation from city coffers.

The road rehab line item is at $3.3 million.

Coun. Jeff Shields asked about the downtown cleanups completed by city operations crews.

“What are the costs now, and what is the increase we can expect?” he asked, in the wake of increased concern expressed by the public about the state of garbage-strewn city streets.

Operations director Glen MacPherson responded that the cleanup efforts, all in with graffiti removal included typically would cost in excess of $250,000 per year. The expected increase for 2019 was another $125,000, to respond to street cleaning requests and homeless garbage removal.

Coun. Jason Lum said that while he didn’t agree with that large amount of money being required to address social issues and crime, but he did think overall it was money well spent.

“I’m glad the public is taking the opportunity to weigh in,” he said.

Coun. Chris Kloot said he was encouraged to see the continued budget support for more RCMP, and looks forward to hearing more resident input on Jan. 22.


@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

Council meetings now closed to the public in Chilliwack

Changes comply with provincial orders for no public gatherings and help development applications

Chilliwack elementary schools roll parades through their neighbourhoods, past students’ homes

Unsworth and Central are two of many schools trying to connect teachers with students in fun way

Kinneman appointed CAO of the Fraser Valley Regional District

Her ‘experience and connection with the staff and FVRD partners was unparalleled’ says board chair

Chilliwack school district rolls out next year’s budget, expects COVID-19 costs to change things

Public is being encouraged to connect with the district with any questions about 2020/2021 budget

Chilliwack residents upset by blasting ‘nightmare’ in their hillside neighbourhood

Little Mountain neighbour says blasting ‘unconscionable’ while they’re following advice to stay home

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

BC institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates in Mission test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read