Riverview Town Council approved an operating budget of $27.34 million on Monday night. Council voted to pass the 2016 General Operating Fund Budget with a tax rate of $1.5626 per $100 of a property’s assessed value. The tax rate has held steady for four years.
“This was a difficult budget year, but overall Council is satisfied with the final results,” said Mayor Ann Seamans. “Staff developed a budget that aligned with our objectives, and Council had more than 10 hours of budget deliberations to ensure that the Town will continue to deliver high quality services to Riverview residents and businesses.”
Due to limited growth to the town’s property assessment base for 2016, this was one of the more challenging budget processes that Council has faced. The overall General Operating Fund Budget increased by only 1.3%. Few new items were added to the departments’ operating budgets in 2016 and reductions in some areas was required to ensure a balanced budget.
Highlights of the 2016 General Operating Budget:
An additional $300,000 was added to the RCMP budget to cover the 8.8% increase required by the Codiac Regional Policing Authority.
Council continued its commitment to fund some capital projects with a ‘pay as you go’ approach by allocating $3.2 million in the General Operating Budget for capital expenditures.
To manage long-term debt, the Town allocated $1.2 million for a balloon debt payment on existing debt.
Council allocated $250,000 to a capital reserve earmarked for a future Wellness Centre.
Funds were added to the snow removal and winter maintenance program, anticipating another challenging winter season.
Council also approved the 2016 Capital Budget, which adheres to the 5-Year Capital Plan that Council reviewed and approved earlier this year.
Key projects in the 2016 General Capital Budget:
Continued construction of the new Operations Centre, which is scheduled to be completed in October 2016.
A notable investment in road infrastructure in 2016 including:
Local improvement (reconstruction) projects including new water mains on Woolridge St., Beverly Cr. and Hawthorne Dr.
Street resurfacing, repairs to the curb and extension of sidewalks for Buckingham Ave.
$1 million investment on Pine Glen Rd. to install a bridge span over Mill Creek. This project is supported with funds from both the Federal and Provincial Governments.
Water main replacements on McClelan Ave., Lumsden Rd., and Chesswood Dr.
Enhanced parks and green spaces including expansions of Winter Wonderland Park and Mill Creek Nature Park.
In addition, Council approved the 2016 Water and Sewer Utility Operating Budget in the amount of $7.19 million. Residents will see their water bills rise by $6.75 per quarter in 2016. The $27 total increase will finance a number of items including infrastructure improvements at TransAqua mandated by the federal government, replacement of cast iron pipes, and increasing water costs.