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).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Filmmaker James Cameron’s Comox Valley winery up for sale

The director behind The Terminator and Titanic puts Beaufort Winery on the market after six years

Online services available at Comox Valley libraries

Since early June, the Vancouver Island Regional Library has been offering ‘takeout’… Continue reading

Comox Valley man looks back on 102 years

Members of a Comox Valley car club paraded past Doug de Wolff’s… Continue reading

Comox Valley Regional District board approves $115,000 towards soccer field house project

The Comox Valley Regional District board has approved a $115,000 contribution to… Continue reading

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Cowichan’s Dillabaugh checks in from the NHL bubble in Toronto

Flyers’ Duncan-born goalie coach weighs in on hockey restart

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Most Read