From left: Councillor Lucy Taylor, Councillor Barry Banford, Councillor Bill Haring, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Councillor Lynne Frizzle, Councillor Lyle Mckenzie and Councillor Shelley Sim. (District of Clearwater photo)

From left: Councillor Lucy Taylor, Councillor Barry Banford, Councillor Bill Haring, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Councillor Lynne Frizzle, Councillor Lyle Mckenzie and Councillor Shelley Sim. (District of Clearwater photo)

District of Clearwater council approves tax rate increases for 2021

The 2021 tax rate bylaw will see adoption May 6.

District of Clearwater council voted to modestly increase taxes at the virtually-held regular meeting on May 4.

Residential rates will go up by two per cent, while businesses will see a one per cent tax rate increase. The 2021 tax rate bylaw, as part of the DOC’s five year plan, was received and will see adoption on May 6, .

“Many of our local businesses and their employees have been directly impacted by the COVID health orders in place, especially in the tourism and hospitality industry,” said Coun. Lucy Taylor, chair of Finance and Audit Committee in a press release. “This year, District staff and council have been working extra hard to create a budget that focuses on delivering the level of service that the community expects, while minimizing the tax burden on residents and businesses.”

She added despite the low increase in taxation, council still has an ambitious agenda for the year, due to grant opportunities as well as private contributions.

Council and staff deliberated the 2021 budget while focusing on community needs outlined in the strategic plan, as well as the responses from the recent community survey. Community concerns during budget deliberations were taken into consideration and council is committed to continuing to work toward building reserves for infrastructure and roads and to allocate funds towards ensuring sustainable growth, according to the DOC press release.

“It became apparent early in this pandemic that the financial impact on our town would be hard and long lasting,” said Mayor Merlin Blackwell in the press release, adding council and staff worked long and hard to to make “thoughtful and caring choices” when prioritizing budget items and keeping taxes “as reasonable as possible.”

The taxation amount, however, had to be balanced with keeping core services available and ready to bounce back post-COVID.

“I think we have struck that fine balance in this budget but may need to look at being a bit moire aggressive with taxation in future years to make up for compassionate choices we have made today,” added Blackwell.

The 2021 budget includes: $838,000 in road rehabilitation and maintenance ($328,000 from private contribution and $120,000 Gas Tax funds), $100,000 capital and $50,000 for operational maintenance, as well as structural repairs on the Brookfield Bridge, pavement overlay on road sections throughout the district, ditching and shoulder grading; fire protection capital and reserves ($178,000); senior programming ($10,000); Strawberry Flats sewer feasibility study ($8,000); community parks ($392,500, including $340,000 private contribution); trails and multi-use pathway development ($2,062,957 and grant dependent); water ($551,312, including $475,000 private contribution); sanitary sewer ($8,996,438, $8 million grant dependent and $475,000 private contribution); and holding a reserve fund of $5,038,595 until end of 2021.

The District budget also includes maintaining existing service levels for road, the recreation program, protective services, transit and capital dollars for parks, as well as its short- and long-term financial principles, according to the release.

Details of the above budget items can be viewed on the DOC website.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read