The new fire hall will be located on the corner of Cumberland Road and Primrose Street. Photo from Cumberland.ca

The new fire hall will be located on the corner of Cumberland Road and Primrose Street. Photo from Cumberland.ca

Cumberland approves budget; relies on borrowed funds

Council passed a motion to adopt the 2020-2024 financial plan bylaw at the Jan. 13 meeting

The Village of Cumberland approved its latest budget at the Jan. 13 meeting, one that relies heavily on borrowed funds.

Council passed a motion to adopt the 2020-2024 financial plan bylaw at the meeting, though Coun. Jesse Ketler pointed out some numbers that could present an obstacle should the Village find itself needing to borrow for other major projects in the future.

Specifically, she referred to the more than $242,285 in debt interest the Village will pay in 2020. This will rise in subsequent years of the plan to the effect that the debt interest will be just over $451,000 for 2024. Ketler said that a one-per-cent tax increase represents $25,000, so almost a half-million dollars a year in interest is a considerable amount to service.

“It will, I’m sure, hamper future endeavours of the Village,” she told council.

RELATED: Cumberland approves new fire hall project bylaws

The staff report to council for the bylaw notes that typically property value tax is the primary revenue source for municipal government when it comes to general operating funds. However, for 2020, this becomes the third-highest source. Property value taxes and payments in lieu represent about 18 per cent of revenue for the year.

For 2020, the highest amount comes from borrowing. The roughly $5.8 million represents a third of the revenue for Cumberland this year. Of this, $4.2 million represents the amount borrowed for the construction of the new fire hall, an issue that received voter assent through the alternate approval process (AAP) in late 2019.

“We’re building it, but it does have consequences,” Ketler added.

When the responses were tallied in December, opposition fell well short of the required 10 per cent threshold for the AAP. The Village received only 57 letters of opposition. There would have had to have been 310 submitted for the bylaw not to proceed.

When council was presented with plans for the fire hall in the fall, Ketler said she was not opposed to the idea and understood the need for the new fire hall, but she expressed concerns about the level of debt the Village was taking on, especially in light of other projects. Cumberland is also facing wastewater treatment capital upgrades.

The staff report also notes grant funding makes up 29 per cent of municipal revenue for the year, making it the second-largest source. This comes from an Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program federal and provincial grant to fund the major upgrades to the community’s wastewater treatment facility.

Other sources for revenue include sales of services and fees (14 per cent), parcel taxes (3 per cent) and miscellaneous revenue, including donations, developer amenity funds, grants from non-government sources, investment revenue, permits and licences (3 per cent).

Just Posted

The finish line! Huband held a ‘Colour Run’ Friday to celebrate what’s been a different school year. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley school lets its colours run

Huband Elementary wanted a way to bring kids together

Cumberland has agreed to a sponsorship agreement with the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland agrees to sponsorship with Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce

Some on council did express concerns from the past such as amalgamation push

Habitat VIN executive director Pat McKenna, and community engagement manager (Comox Valley) Alli Epp are all geared up for the 2021 Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North #BidtoBuild online auction. Photo supplied
Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North online auction opens soon

Get ready to ‘bid to build.’ The 2021 Habitat For Humanity Vancouver… Continue reading

Ronan and his son, eight-year-old Erwan Teyssier ran The Cumby together this year. Photo supplied
Cumby Trail Race raises $15,000+ for Cumberland forest protection

The theme of The Cumby 2021 trail race was ‘Celebrating This Land’… Continue reading

From left, Karen Cummins, Suzanne Gravelle and Ted Grainger pose with the winner of this year’s Comox Valley Nature Tree of the Year contest - a western yew, located in the Cumberland Community Forest. Photo by Dianne Grainger.
Comox Valley’s ‘Tree of the Year’ unveiled

By Kerri Scott Special to The Record For the first time in… Continue reading

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read