In a tight vote, Pitt Meadows council approved its budget Monday night, and along with it a 3.1 per cent tax increase.
Pitt Meadows councillors voted 4-3, directing City staff to prepare the 2013-2017 financial plan, which includes an increase of 1.79 per cent for 2013, and an additional one per cent to be saved for future projects.
Overall, a single-family home will pay $83 or 3.10 per cent more for all municipal services, said Mayor Deb Walters.
“For the second year in a row we have made decisions based on this community’s needs moving forward,” she said. “Our goal was to ensure we do as much as we possibly could with minimal financial burden on our residents.”
Going into budget discussions earlier this fall, the original proposed property tax increase for an average single-family home was $103. That’s now been clawed back to $83, Walters said.
Council’s role is to look at the long term and what will benefit this community, not only in 2013 – but beyond, she explained.
“We are putting money away for the future,” said Walters, talking about policing and much needed infrastructure repairs to the diking and drainage system.
“People forget that Pitt Meadows is surrounded by a complex system of dikes and drainage. Drainage is a huge issue for us and many of the major capital projects we need or want to undertake will only be possible if we can secure other funding on a matching basis.”
“I’m pleased we’ve been able to follow the guidelines given to us by council to try to maintain service levels and be mindful of the fiscal impact,” said Dean Rear, director of finance.
The City has also been able to continue to prepare for any upcoming expenses, Rear added.