Const. Cameron Nay checks out the serial number on a bike, with security officer and Chilliwack’s top cop Supt. Deanne Burleigh. Const. Nay was deployed to the DT patrol as part of the Quick Response effort discussed in the 2018 budget talks. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress file)

Final budget approved with more RCMP for Chilliwack

Longer public consultation period for Chilliwack this year and 500 people responded with priorities

The tax rate increase of 2.62 per cent for Chilliwack was approved by council last week as part of the 2018 Financial Plan.

Public safety was again in the spotlight for this budget, said Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

And the new RCMP hires will reflect that citizen-endorsed priority.

There was actually a longer than usual period of public consultation for this particular budget.

Budget details first went out with the 2017 tax inserts, and an online survey gauged the budget priorities of citizens who weighed in with opinions.

“We had more than 500 responses,” said Mayor Gaetz. “That is unprecedented.”

The majority of respondents indicated there should be increased public safety resources added to the Chilliwack budget.

“They also said we should stay the course financially, and that they appreciated that we have low taxes and maintain levels of service,” said Gaetz.

The initial budget plan called for two additional RCMP, and then an additional two were pencilled in.

After the public consultation emphasized public safety, another RCMP officer was added to the plan, for a total of five new police officers.

“So instead of two, we settled on three extra, and that reflects the community’s wishes,” Mayor Gaetz noted.

“I think this budget really respects the input we got from the community.”

The low rates in Chilliwack mean that a typical homeowner will pay $766 less than taxes levied in other communities, she said, which is something that stood out.

The proposed tax rate increase of 2.62 per cent breaks down this way:

• 1.49 per cent – Base tax increase (incl 2 RCMP)

• 0.67 per cent – RCMP officer additions (3 additional RCMP)

• 0.46 per cent – Public transit expansion

Here’s how the proposed increase of 2.62 per cent compares. Last year the tax rate increase was 3.5 per cent, when council approved 10 new RCMP officers in 2016, and the year before, 2016, it was 1.89 per cent.

READ MORE: Last year’s budget story


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. reservists gather for military communications training in Chilliwack

Canadian Army’s communication skills are used in battle as well as domestic emergencies

VIDEO: ‘Heroes’ rescue teenager trapped in vehicle in water-filled ditch in Chilliwack

Two men sprang into action, holding 17-year-old’s head out of water as they pried open door

Sarah Wark rallies to beat Prince Edward Island at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Wark wasn’t at the top of her game, but her team did enough to improve to 6-3 overall.

GW Graham junior boys play underdog role at basketball provincials

One of two at-large seeds in the 32 team field, the Grizzlies face a tough opponent out of the gate.

Unfinished business for GW Graham basketball Grizzlies at AA provincials

GWG’s senior girls squad advanced to the final before losing in 2018 and look to win it all in 2019.

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Most Read