VICTORIA, BC – City Council has given preliminary approval to the Draft 2017 Financial Plan and is looking for feedback from residents. This plan, combined with public input, will provide the road map for the City for the coming year.
As presented in the draft financial plan, the 2017 operating budget totals $224.5 million and the capital budget totals $51 million. Combined with utility fees, the overall costs to homeowners would result in a 2.91% increase from 2016 and 2.98% increase for businesses.
Highlights of the 2017 budget include:
- Provides $250,000 in funding for the City’s Affordable Housing Reserve
- Support for arts and culture with over $1.4 million including public art, festivals, special events, City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, Artist in Residence and Poet Laureate program
- Invests approximately $27.5 million in the City’s parks, recreation and facilities, including 137 parks, 72 hectares of parklands, 207 hectares of natural landscape, 40 playgrounds, 23 tennis courts, 12 off-leash areas, 45 sports fields and 100 City facilities
- Completion of the Parks and Open Space Master Plan
- Completion of Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre Feasibility Study to explore future facility and amenity options
- Crosswalk installations or upgrades at nine locations
- Clover Point shoreline remediation
- Invests $70.2 million in public safety (police, fire and bylaw)
- Implement #Biketoria cycling network on Pandora Avenue, Fort Street and Cook Street
- Replaces aging pipes and underground infrastructure, including some of the City’s oldest pipes installed in 1891, to ensure clean water and environmental protection for the harbour and City’s natural areas
- $4.9 million in continued funding for the Greater Victoria Public Library
- Local area neighbourhood plans – completion of plans for Fairfield Gonzales and Victoria West. Commencement of plans for Rockland, Fernwood, North Park and the North and South Jubilee neighbourhoods.
- Completion of the Arts and Culture Master Plan
- Advancing options for the Fire Department Headquarters
- Lead local community events and programs for Canada’s 150th celebrations, themed “The Year of Reconciliation”
- Continued implementation of the Gorge Waterway Management Plan
- Introduce a new Open Data Portal and refresh the City’s website
- Funding for parking customer service improvements including credit card “tap and go” functionality in parkades and additional payment options
Building on previous years, the City is providing tools to encourage greater participation from the public, including detailed information, a budget explainer video, and a Town Hall on December 1. The Town Hall will be interactive and webcast live. Comments to the Town Hall can be provided in person, online, through social media or by telephone.
Background materials, including the Draft 2017 Financial Plan, Budget at a Glance and online survey are available at www.victoria.ca/budget