January 15, 2015 - 5:53 PM
KELOWNA - After a day spent hearing submissions, Kelowna city councillors are considering a potential property tax increase of 3.46 per cent, down a touch from what staff originally recommended in a budget year dominated by increases to police services and a new building to house them.
Mayor Colin Basran led city councillors — some going through the budget process for the first time — through the hefty document containing the request for $114 million in taxation on a budget of $347 million. In the end, minor adjustments in the priorities of certain budget items meant a downtick of just .01 per cent and little change to the average $60 increase homeowners would see on their tax bills.
The continued preservation of Cameron House, a heritage house donated to the city, was one of the most contentious items. Council has already set aside $330,000 for badly-needed repairs and was considering adding another $200,000. Councillors were split on whether it was worth moving forward until more details could be had and asked staff for a workshop on heritage preservation.
Councillors also had questions of Kelowna RCMP Superintendent Nick Romanchuk over the hiring of six new officers and the hope that some of them would be used to beef up the Downtown Enforcement Unit. Romanchuk told councillors no firm plans are yet in place for their deployment.
“Anytime we add additional members, putting more members on the street certainly would be part of that,” he added.
Today’s adoption is provisional with the final budget to be adopted later this spring after B.C. Assessment issues its final assessment roll for the area.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015