2021 Draft Budget

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The 2021 Budget was adopted by Council March 16th, 2021. Information regarding the 2022 budget will be available November, 2021. 

Updated March 16th:

Council adopted the 2021-2025 Financial Plan Bylaw.

Updated February 24th:

On February 23rd, Council gave second and third reading to the amended five (5) year financial plan which includes the 2021 budget.

Throughout the budget community engagement period, concerned citizens emphasized to Council that traffic safety must be a priority for Lake Country. Council considered the feedback provided through Let’s Talk – Lake Country as well as the virtual town hall and agreed it was important to support the 2019 Traffic Calming and Road Safety Policy program with $20,000 in funding for 2021. The funding

Updated March 16th:

Council adopted the 2021-2025 Financial Plan Bylaw.

Updated February 24th:

On February 23rd, Council gave second and third reading to the amended five (5) year financial plan which includes the 2021 budget.

Throughout the budget community engagement period, concerned citizens emphasized to Council that traffic safety must be a priority for Lake Country. Council considered the feedback provided through Let’s Talk – Lake Country as well as the virtual town hall and agreed it was important to support the 2019 Traffic Calming and Road Safety Policy program with $20,000 in funding for 2021. The funding will provide a process for dealing with traffic calming and road safety requests from the community. Dollars will also be used to enhance the safety of problematic areas identified in the community. Council also agreed to fund the Community Engagement Grant program in the amount of $15,000 in 2021. The grant funding is available to not-for-profit and registered community groups that wish to undertake community projects. The organization receiving the grant funding must also provide private funding or in-kind services to contribute towards their community-benefit project. Both programs will be funded from reserves in 2021 allowing the community to benefit from the programs without incurring a tax increase.

Lake Country Health Planning Society applied for funding after Council initially reviewed the budget in January. Their funding application in the amount of $21,840 was approved based on the assumption that 2021 will be the final year funding will be required from the District. The funding will come from general surplus to avoid a one‐time tax increase for the additional expenditure.

2021 property tax increase of 3.25% will fund:

Community Need

2021 Increase

Dollar Value

Consumer Price Index

1.19%

$176,240

RCMP Staff Increase

0.81%

$119,962

Parks and Recreation Master Plan

1.25%

$185,126


Based on the average property value in Lake Country assessed at $760,000, the increase will result in a rise of approximately $68.00 per property. Council will give final adoption to the five (5) year financial plan on March 16th. For more information and details on the 2021 budget visit Let’s Talk – Lake Country.

Watch the full council meeting on YouTube


Updated January 14th:

On January 12, 2021 Council received a presentation on the five (5) year financial plan including the 2021 budget.

Council was also asked to consider the level of service provided by bylaw enforcement with various options proposed to enhance the service and to address community needs. In addition to supporting an extra bylaw officer and part-time bylaw administrative support funded for two (2) years from COVID-19 Provincial grant dollars, Council reviewed the draft budget line by line, asking staff for reasoning on proposed expenditures. Council passed a motion to support a 3.25% property tax increase in 2021. The breakdown is as follows:

Proposed Community Needs

Proposed 2021 Increase

Dollar Value

Approximate Average Home ($760,000) Increase

Consumer Price Index

1.19%

$176,240

$25.00

RCMP Staff Increase

0.81%

$119,962

$17.00

Parks and Recreation Master Plan

1.25%

$185,126

$26.25

For each 0.01% added to the budget - the average home will pay an additional $0.21 towards municipal services.

Parks and Recreation Master Plan implementation – What will the 1.25% increase go towards?

To renew and prolong the use of aging facilities within the District, several maintenance projects are required in 2021. Without the 1.25% increase the implementation of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan will continue to be underfunded. It is similar to the home you live in - each year the home requires various maintenance and periodic renewal projects done, to ensure your home remains safe and runs efficiently. The same applies to District facilities. The District is responsible for maintaining several public facilities throughout the community including:

  • Winfield arena and curling rink
  • Seniors Activity Centre
  • Food bank
  • Integrated Services Building (used by Lake Country Health Planning and Interior Health)
  • RCMP building
  • Fire Administration and fire halls in Winfield, Oyama and Carr’s Landing
  • Lake Country Museum (including the annex and café spaces)
  • Municipal Hall (including the space used by Lake Country branch of Okanagan Regional Library)
  • Camp Road shop
  • Beasley Park including playground, field lighting and the community centre
  • Swalwell Park including the water park, skate park and washroom
  • Washroom and playground facilities at Coral Beach, Shoreline Park, Jack Seaton Park, Pioneer Park and Okanagan Centre Park
  • Many other high use parks and trails outdoor amenities (e.g. Pelmewash Parkway multi-use pathway, Okanagan Rail Trail, Okanagan Centre greenspace trail, Oyama boat launch, dog parks etc.)

Renewal/maintenance initiatives that require immediate attention include - roofs, siding, furnaces, plumbing upgrades, electrical upgrades, doors and windows, refrigeration systems, stairs, railings and decking.

What makes up the 1.19% CPI?

Consumer Price Index also known as CPI, is used to measure the average cost change over time in the prices paid for goods and services; and accounts for inflation.

Why does Lake Country require additional RCMP officers?

In 2020 Council approved the cost of acquiring five (5) additional RCMP officers. Half the cost of the new officers was incorporated into the 2020 budget. Recently two new officers have been assigned to the Lake Country detachment. The second half of the cost (0.81%) will be a consideration for the 2021 budget. With the additional five (5) officers, once onboarded, the Lake Country detachment will eventually be able to provide 24-hour a day policing.

How are grant dollars being used in 2021?

Grants offered to municipalities throughout the year, must be applied for and if awarded are used to assist with offsetting costs for the specific projects they are related to. Grants include the Gas Tax which assists the District with road expenditures. Provincial and Federal grants awarded are used for specific projects, such as the Woodsdale Waterfront Park Site & Cultural Centre, which will be 73% funded by grants. $2.947 Million from the Province was transferred to the District to assist with revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19 impacts and will help cover the cost of infrastructure and operational items that would have required a higher tax increase overall.

What if there is an emergency – how are the cost covered?

Municipalities typically have three (3) months operating expenses in a reserve in the event of an emergency, such as a natural disaster. Currently the District has $3.1 Million in a reserve to cover unexpected expenses. The goal is to eventually increase this reserve to at least $3.6 Million.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    You say wages will increase by 2%...when? Is this for all city workers including council? If not mayor and council what is there's to be? Is this 2%based on cost of living from last year?

    Michael asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for the question. The 2% is based on the increase from the collective agreement with union staff, which is effective April 1st annually, as per the agreement.  The 2% is not tied to CPI but based on the negotiated contract. Mayor and Council’s increase is tied to the CPI increase as per the policy. CPI in BC for 2020 was 0.8%

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    Would it be possible to use traffic calming on Davidson rd from Bond rd to Ok Centre red east This is a school route and traffic can be extremely heavy. Too many cars are speeding particularly going towards Okanagan Centre.thank you for your consideration

    Deborah Battrum asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for the question and suggestion. Please make sure you subscribe to news as we will be sending out information about the program in the near future.  

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    I would think the RCMP increase would be covered in the CPI increase. If it is for adding more officers i would think the need for more officers would be because of our increasing population which in turn would be covered by the increase tax base from the increase in population and therefore should not be included as it would be "double dipping". Could you please give more detail as to why this is not covered by the CPI or the increase in population/increased tax base? Thank You,

    Howard Zerr asked 8 months ago

    Thankyou for your question. 

    Adding the additional officers was intended to provide a higher level service to the community with 24 hour coverage.  The 24 hour coverage is a benefit to both existing and new residents in the community.  Therefore the funding of the new police officers comes from a combination of the increased tax base and tax increase to existing residents. The CPI is intended to cover the increase in costs of existing services. There is an annual increase in the cost of existing policing services that is covered by the CPI.

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    More on roads...DoLC has seen seen an increase in the tax base due to the Lakestone development but are not giving back on roads. Glenmore - OK Centre Road West to the new water reservoir under construction is so bad that vehicles are being damaged. Each Lakestone home is contributing ~ $6K -$10k annually in taxes. MacDonald Corp, the developer of Lakestone has contributed parks, road upgrades, tennis courts and more...time to give back to the residents and fix the roads.

    DianneS asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for taking the time to provide input on the budget. Your comments will be passed to Council for consideration.

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    I appreciate the feedback on FB I received from our councillor Todd McKenzie. My main concern is the $850k alloted to expanding municipal hall, when many studies suggest remote working is here to stay for many desk jobs (at least some days per week). Many companies are looking at reducing real estate (the national telecom I work for included) and a study of how this could impact building space requirements could be fruitful - and safe CAPEX. DLC is likely going to need to adjust to a portion of work from home after the pandemic in order to stay competitive for hiring, so there could be multiple benefits apart from possible cost savings. Given construction is not going to start this year, could council review this first?

    John Cameron asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your comments regarding the budget. Your comments will be passed to Council for consideration. 

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    As with many other residents my main concern is the condition of our streets and side walks. We live on copper hill and the traffic is very heavy everyday at 8:00 - 8:30 and 2:30 to 3:00 - it is only a mater of time before we have a serious tragedy. Cars need to use the whole road to dodge the pot holes on Sherman. The extra money that is proposed for parks should be put to streets and sidewalks. The safety of our residents is more important that having a fancy park.

    Randy Gossen asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your comment and it will be passed on to Council for consideration. Please note that the proposed 1.25% for parks and recreation is not to build new parks but rather to fix existing facilities that are in the community. Due to aging infrastructure there are a number of projects required to maintain the existing facilities.

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    Can you please stop flooding the market with cheap money and supercharging home prices? You are creating an economic inequality nightmare down the road. Also, please include housing pricing in your inflation metrics. Thank you.

    Matt asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your comment - it will be passed to Council for consideration.

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    Would there be benefit to adding in the BC speculation tax?

    George asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for the question. 

    The BC speculation tax is administered by the Provincial Government and not applicable in Lake Country meaning it would have no impact on the budget.

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    Although I have not studied the five year financial plan in detail I have faith in our current council in Lake Country and know that you are doing your best during this pandemic. Thanks for opportunity to comment.

    Susan Sinotte asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your comments, they will be shared with Council. 

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    Are you planning on buying playground equipment? Because there are plenty of kids playgrounds. We need children to engage with nature as they can with their families.

    P Diakiw asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    The Shoreline Park playground (in the Lakes) is a budgeted cost of $25,000 for 2021 - this is to add playground equipment. The Lakes Community Group has fundraised $5,000 to contribute towards the project cost.

    The proposed 1.25% for Parks and Recreation is to renew and prolong the use of aging facilities within the District, several maintenance projects are required in 2021. Without the 1.25% increase the implementation of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan will continue to be underfunded