Summerland seeking feedback on 2020 budget, 4% tax increase

4% tax increase proposed

The District of Summerland is seeking the public’s feedback on its proposed 2020 budget, which includes a four per cent property tax increase.

The tax bump will go to fund “operational investments” (3.12 per cent) and community infrastructure (0.88 per cent). For an average Summerland home ($597,000), the property tax increase will amount to about $78.

“Summerland council feels that the proposed property tax increase meets our obligations to the residents of Summerland,” said Mayor Toni Boot. 

“The budget maintains or improves current service levels, it allows for initiatives and projects that will improve the livability and resiliency of our community; and we continue plan for infrastructure investments by setting aside a percentage of the property tax.”

The 2020 budget proposes to move forward with the installation of a fenced dog park on the north end of Peach Orchard Beach Park, as well as the creation of four new pickleball courts at the Peach Orchard Campground.

Other major capital investments include:   

  • Quinpool Road (Victoria Rd to Washington Ave) watermain replacement
  • Doherty Avenue & Bathville Road (Prairie Valley Rd to Princeton-Summerland Hwy) road reconstruction and drainage improvements
  • Victoria Road (Turner St to Jones Flat Rd) asphalt overlay
  • Dale Meadows Road (Walton Cres to Haddrell Ave) design for road and watermain upgrades in preparation for construction in 2021
  • Giants Head Road (Harris Rd to Hillborn St) design for road and watermain upgrades and water system separation in preparation for construction in 2021
  • Completion of the design for Isintok Dam outlet pipe replacement
  • Trail repairs at Peach Orchard Beach and Rotary Beach
  • Eneas Creek restoration including reconstruction of Centennial Trail
  • Landfill second scale and entrance upgrades

The district says it will also continue work on the proposed Summerland Aquatic and Health Centre, a new downtown plan, affordable housing and South Okanagan Agricultural Food Hub.

The budget proposes to hire two new full-time staff and one part-time employee: a Meter Technician, IT Support Technician and part-time Human Resources Assistant. The municipality says the salaries for the new employees will be offset by $75,000 in annual operational savings found near the end of 2019.

“The 2020 general fund budget process provided many challenges for district staff. Balancing the communities expected levels of service with limited financial resources is always difficult, however; I am happy to report that the proposed budget does not provide for any reductions in service levels and does provide for increased levels in specific areas,” said director of finance David Svetlichny.

The District of Summerland is hosting an open house Feb. 12, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Summerland Arena. Council and staff will be in attendance to gather feedback from the community on the budget.         

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