Cumberland council is finalizing property taxes for the year. Record file photo

Cumberland council is finalizing property taxes for the year. Record file photo

Cumberland set to pass property taxes for coming year

BRIEFS: Village is taking a look at a communications strategy

Cumberland is finalizing its property taxes for the year in time for the May deadline.

Local governments are to adopt tax bylaws by May 15, and council gave the bylaw the first three readings at the April 25 meeting, with adoption slated for this month.

Chief financial officer Michelle Mason updated council on the tax rates bylaw in late April, noting the plan now has information on requisition rates for the regional district and regional hospital district included. These change the rates for single-family and strata housing units slightly, Mason said.

With late changes added, the average increase for single-family homes will now be $324 rather than $284 as planned, and $49 instead of $21 for strata units.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland finalizing annual tax rates on properties

The village also has taken into account revised assessment roll values for properties as of March.

The staff report notes that tax rates generated by growth this year are not included in the financial plan but will be added in an amendment, which will include contributions to a reserve the village is building for emergency and public safety.

For now, council supported a motion to include $43,750 from growth taxes to save in the reserve for eventual police costs.

Council considers communications

The village is looking at a revised website as part of its communication strategy.

The site is one of the fixtures in the plan but will also help the village with other elements.

“This website is going to be a great tool for us to do a lot of the work,” economic development officer Kaelin Chambers told council during a committee of the whole meeting in April.

Members of council raised issues such as a having a dedicated staff person. Another issue was the need to rely on traditional means of communication as well as digital ones.

“We still have a lot of the community that’s not on social media,” Mayor Leslie Baird said.

Chambers also referred to the importance of getting input from all departments within the village and to keep in mind their capacity. He also noted this plan is still in draft form.

The village used some Restart funding to cover costs for consultants to help put together a plan for communications.

Most projects on track

In a quarterly report for all departments within the village, Cumberland staff and council had completed about 43 per cent of goals in a 2020-23 strategic priorities plan.

Most of the 112 goals were at least on track, while a few were behind or not yet started. The report included the status of the latest work from the January through March 2022 period.

Council also received department reports on financial services, fire services, bylaw services, the RCMP, development services, legislative services (council’s resolution list) and the new addition of climate change successes and projects.

The full report was included in the agenda package from the April 25 meeting.

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