District staff and council will host a social media session on Monday evening to answer questions from the public about the budget.
With Maple Ridge property tax increases proposed at almost four per cent, mayor and council and District staff will be in council chambers and online options have been set up to livestream the event and receive questions via email, Twitter, and Facebook.
The livestream will be at www.mapleridge.ca - click on Budget 2013-2017.
An email address, budget@mapleridge. ca, is already set up to take questions. Questions can also be tweeted to #BudgetMapleRidge.
Council will be receiving presentations from staff about the budget starting at 9 a.m. on Monday in council chambers and these sessions are open to the public.
Then from 6 to 7 p.m., the social media session will be held.
However, the public is also invited to attend this session in person, as well.
Property tax increases in Maple Ridge will total 3.91 per cent if council approves District staff's recommendation in this year's budget process.
In 2012, the average home in Maple Ridge was assessed at $410,000, and a home at this value would incur property taxes in 2013 of $2,589, an increase over 2012 of about $100.
Property taxes are broken down into two areas. First, municipal levies, totalling on average $1,675, consist of general purpose expenses, a fire service improvement levy, a drainage improvement levy, and a parks and recreation levy.
Second, user fees include recycling, water, and sewer and total $816.
According to the staff report, the financial plan overview, services will be maintained if these tax increases are approved. This includes a six per cent increase in policing costs.
Capital spending is earmarked at $17 million in 2013, and this includes $7.3 million for highways, $1.2 million for park improvements, $1.8 million for protection services, $1.4 million for sewage, and $1.6 million for water. Park acquisition will eat up $600,000 of the capital budget.
However, the five-year capital plan doesn't include any funding for expansion of the Albion sport complex, a new museum estimated between $5 and $10 million, any new community centres, acquisition of the Fraser riverfront land, nor the $15 million needed for a CP Rail overpass at Albion.
Maple Ridge will host a social media session Monday to answer questions about the budget. The discussion will be livestream at www.mapleridge. ca (click on Budget 2013-2017. As well, the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, is set up to take questions.
Or questions can be tweeted to #BudgetMapleRidge.
Public can also attend in person from 6 to 7 p.m.