The 2016 budget for the village of Nakusp was passed at the council meeting on April 11. This is the third time the budget has been presented to the village.
Because the Village of Nakusp’s fiscal year runs the same as the calendar year, January to December, the first presentation was back in December so the village could have some guidelines on what they can operate on and know going into the coming year what they are able to spend. Once the preliminary budget is introduced, a capital budget is prepared so the village has a preview of the final budget.
Unlike a federal budget, the municipal budget bylaw must be balanced.
“We have no choice, we have to do a balanced budget,” said Laurie Taylor, chief administrative officer for the Village of Nakusp. “Either we have to raise the taxes to meet our expenditures, or we have to cut back on our expenditures.”
This year, there will be an increase in taxes of five per cent. Water and sewer rates had to go up as well, but for a different reason.
The village needed to increase rates because it hasn’t been able to put any money into reserves for doing capital projects like replacing water mains, some of which are somewhere between 30 and 40 years old, or with the issue of reclaimed water at the sewer plant.
“We have to have the money to do capital upgrades. Prior to this, we didn’t have any reserve funds to do that, so we have to start putting money into reserves to do that kind of thing for capital.” said Taylor
The village will also be applying for grants to help with other projects.
“We are purchasing some new equipment, and we have applied for a grant for the replacement of the arena roof,” said Taylor.” We’re going to finish the chalet roofs up at the hot springs, and there is going to be some work on the sand filters at the sewer treatment plant, and then for the water, we’re looking at doing some water main replacement.”
The cost of operations is pretty much the same except for the normal increases in things like utilities.
“We’re just like a person in that our utilities go up, the cost of our materials that we use go up, the cost of our fuel for vehicles goes up, so we have to pay that as well.”