Kimberley City Council is deep in the midst of budget deliberations, and Mayor Don McCormick says that this year is particularly challenging.
“There are two aspects to the budget, capital and operating, and both have challenges,” he said.
On the capital side, one of the big challenges is there are several underfunded projects in the five year plan.
“These projects continue to be deferred until we have the money,” McCormick said.
One of those projects is adding UV treatment to Kimberley’s water.
“We are getting permission from Interior Health to defer it,” he said, “We should have UV along with chlorine to be compliant.”
The hugely expensive Waste Water Treatment Plan continues to be unfunded; and there are Civic Centre upgrades in the plan.
“Council has made the decision to invest in the facility. It needs a new pad, boards and glass. We haven’t even considered the ice plant. It’s ammonia based, and older. Marysville Arena needs $1.5 million in upgrades too.”
Another big capital item is fleet replacement. McCormick says the entire fleet has less than 20 per cent life left, and aging vehicles can have a significant affect on levels of service.
“We have to give staff the proper tools to get the job done,” he said.
The City has replaced some big ticket items. There is a new grader, a new sweeper and a new vacuum truck, but many more aging vehicles need replacement.
Then there’s bridges.
The Marsden Street bridge (near the skate park) only has four to five years of life left.
“The cost on that would be $800,000 to $1 million. The question is, do we replace it?”
Additionally, the completion of the 4th Avenue project has a budget shortfall.
“It was put together on a bare bones budget,” McCormick said. “Costs have gone up sine the original budget.”
All these projects have to be funded and completed, as well as the normal capital work on infrastructure upgrades.