2022 Financial Plan

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City of White Rock - Proposed 2022 FInancial Plan


The draft 2022 White Rock Financial Plan is available for preview. Citizens are welcome to provide comments below for Council’s review and consideration.

Council is currently in the midst of a comprehensive review process prior to finalizing and approving the financial plan by the legislated May 15 deadline.

The draft financial plan recommends an overall combined property and utilities tax increase of $279 or 4.9% for an average single-family home and $103 or 4.2% for a strata home. These figures represent the combination of a proposed property tax increase of 6.1% and proposed utilities tax increase of 2.5%.

The proposed increase is a result of the need to grow capital funding while maintaining service levels and keeping operating costs in check. It reflects a substantial contractual increase in policing costs, includes previously approved commitments, and provides a modest increase to protect for inflation in asset improvement funding.

A series of department-specific presentations will occur March 1 – 9, 2022. These meetings are open to the public who are interested in understanding more about the factors affecting the financial plan decisions. Meetings can be attended in-person or livestreamed. Meeting information and agendas can be found at whiterockcity.ca/councilmeetings.

Financial Plan Impact to Average Household (SFD) in 2022

2021
2022
Change $
Change %
Property Taxation



Municipal Operations
$ 2,141
$ 2,217$ 76
Police Service
925
1,01084
Asset Improvement
756
82872
Total Property Taxes
$ 3,822
$ 4,055
$ 2336.1%
Utilities



Drainage Utility Charge
$ 530$ 554$ 24
Solid Waste Utility Charge
3373458
Sewer Utility Charge
265265-
Water Utility Charge
70571914
Total Utilities $ 1,837$ 1,883$ 462.5%
Total Annual Cost $ 5,659$ 5,938$ 2794.9%


Financial Plan Impact to Average Strata Unit in 2022

20212022Change $Change %
Property Taxation



Municipal Operations
$ 752
$ 779
$ 27

Police Service
325
355
30

Asset Improvement
266
291
25

Total Property Taxes$ 1,343
$ 1,425
$ 82
6.1%
Utilities



Drainage Utility Charge
$ 160
$ 167
$ 7

Sewer Utility Charge265
265
-

Water Utility Charge
70571914
Total Utilities $ 1,130$ 1,151$ 211.9%
Total Annual Cost $ 2,473$ 2,576$ 1034.2%



The draft 2022 White Rock Financial Plan is available for preview. Citizens are welcome to provide comments below for Council’s review and consideration.

Council is currently in the midst of a comprehensive review process prior to finalizing and approving the financial plan by the legislated May 15 deadline.

The draft financial plan recommends an overall combined property and utilities tax increase of $279 or 4.9% for an average single-family home and $103 or 4.2% for a strata home. These figures represent the combination of a proposed property tax increase of 6.1% and proposed utilities tax increase of 2.5%.

The proposed increase is a result of the need to grow capital funding while maintaining service levels and keeping operating costs in check. It reflects a substantial contractual increase in policing costs, includes previously approved commitments, and provides a modest increase to protect for inflation in asset improvement funding.

A series of department-specific presentations will occur March 1 – 9, 2022. These meetings are open to the public who are interested in understanding more about the factors affecting the financial plan decisions. Meetings can be attended in-person or livestreamed. Meeting information and agendas can be found at whiterockcity.ca/councilmeetings.

Financial Plan Impact to Average Household (SFD) in 2022

2021
2022
Change $
Change %
Property Taxation



Municipal Operations
$ 2,141
$ 2,217$ 76
Police Service
925
1,01084
Asset Improvement
756
82872
Total Property Taxes
$ 3,822
$ 4,055
$ 2336.1%
Utilities



Drainage Utility Charge
$ 530$ 554$ 24
Solid Waste Utility Charge
3373458
Sewer Utility Charge
265265-
Water Utility Charge
70571914
Total Utilities $ 1,837$ 1,883$ 462.5%
Total Annual Cost $ 5,659$ 5,938$ 2794.9%


Financial Plan Impact to Average Strata Unit in 2022

20212022Change $Change %
Property Taxation



Municipal Operations
$ 752
$ 779
$ 27

Police Service
325
355
30

Asset Improvement
266
291
25

Total Property Taxes$ 1,343
$ 1,425
$ 82
6.1%
Utilities



Drainage Utility Charge
$ 160
$ 167
$ 7

Sewer Utility Charge265
265
-

Water Utility Charge
70571914
Total Utilities $ 1,130$ 1,151$ 211.9%
Total Annual Cost $ 2,473$ 2,576$ 1034.2%


2022 Proposed Financial Plan – Public Comments Invited

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schuff 8 days ago

I would like to add support to the comments made by Elaine Cheung and Michele Partridge regarding the position of Rec and Culture Program Coordinator. I am part of the Arts and Culture Committee as well and can attest to all the hard work that has been put into promoting the creative talent In White Rock. Elaine and Michele have covered all the salient points in their comments so I will not repeat them here other than to say that this is a HUGE project and the staff currently working on this need help and the funding for this position would be money well spent. So, in the words of Oliver Twist as he holds out his empty bowl, I would ask "Please sir, may I (meaning the Arts & Culture Committee) have more?"

Denice Thompson 2 months ago

We attended the March 8th Finance and Audit Committee meeting tonight and want to say thank you to staff for their informative presentation. We have the following questions:

1. In the solid waste section on page 118, there was a reduction of $164K for Solid Waste Pickup for 2022 vs previous years. Is this because of the city's new trucks that can perform the job more efficiently?

2. in the Drainage utility section, on page 121, there is an increase of 2 people forecasted for 2022 when activity levels seem pretty stable. Why would there be a need to hire two extra people?

3. Under Asset Improvement Program on page 134, what is the rehabilitation program for 2021 that costs $415K?

4. In 2021, planning and inspections were at $249K, while there is a projected average of $100K for future years. What happened in 2021 that differs from future years?

5. Under Capital Improvements on page 158, $3 million is allocated to deal with City Hall seismic issues. Since it looks like City Hall isn't going to be relocated, would the city consider expanding City Hall at that point, given you have to tear everything apart to upgrade anyway?

6. In the appendix that was handed out tonight, can we please have some description for the following:

Parkland acquisition $1M. What did we buy?
Antique fire truck $350K. What is this?
Johnston and Thrift public art $194K. What is this art?
Generation Park upgrades $350K. The playground is only two years old. What needs upgrading, and can we get the contractor to fix it?
Mobile Message Boards $50K. What is this?
Town centre parking stalls $240K. What is this?

Thank you for your time in answering my questions. I know staff is very busy, so your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Elaine Cheung & Michele Partridge
Residents and Business Owners in White Rock

elaine_cheung 3 months ago

First of all, I want to say that the City's financial report and all the Finance and Audit Committee meetings have been very informative. I think City staff have done an excellent job in reporting costs and providing details as requested by Council. After reviewing all the documents and watching the Finance and Audit Committee meetings, I have the following questions/comments:

In the February 7th Finance and Audit Committee Meeting, an appendix containing a summary of possible cuts were made in order to potentially cap property tax hikes to 3% from the proposed 4.9%. I have the following questions and comments:

In Line 1 under the Finance Department, the proposed cut was to defer hiring a purchasing specialist position until 2023, and the implication was delay city-wide purchasing program, efficiencies and cost savings. What would be the estimated savings in city-wide purchasing?

- General fund Consulting Budget: Perhaps it can be cut to just 5%?

- CAO Office: Reduce the budget for staff events. I disagree with this cut as staff morale is already low.

- HR: Reduce training budget. Is there any way to just have virtual online training, reducing the need for meals/refreshments?

- Council: I agree there should be a reduction in the budget for Council. If Staff has to take cuts, it's only fair so does Council.

- Parks: Council already passed the motion to reduce Bright Walk by $25K in 2022. As for the other two options (landscaping and removal of invasive plants), can volunteers do these instead?

As for all the other departments with a category level effect of 2 or 3, I would caution Council to cut any of those options as you risk not being able to sustain services and manage risk. As Staff said in one of the Finance and Audit Committee meetings, we are a small community providing a large range of services like a large city. We live in a beautiful and unique city and our financial situation is also unique.


On March 3rd Finance and Audit Committee Meeting, Councillor Trevelyan asked about bank fees. I understand that the increased bank fees are comprised mostly of Merchant fees. Today with more transactions done electronically, there has been an increase in merchant service providers such as Stripe, Square etc. Has Staff done a recent study on what other Merchant service providers are offering? Recreation and Parking fees contribute 5 % of the total revenue generated (page 182). Assuming most payments are made through credit cards, the estimated projected 2022 revenue is $4,585,900 ($3,586,000 on page 75 from parking revenue and $999,900 from Recreation revenue on page 9). Just a savings of 0.25% would equate to $11,465.


In the March 1st Finance and Audit Committee meeting, an interim summary of public input through the Talk White Rock online platform was presented along with staff comments. One of our questions was, “Is the expected revenue from new tenants living in several new high-rises accounted for in the budget?” and Staff’s response was, “Property tax revenue from all new properties added during the previous year is included in the budget as proposed." My follow-up question is, at what point does the City start to collect individual property tax from new developments? Ie. When the building passes the final inspection or gets its occupancy permit. On the city website, https://www.whiterockcity.ca/390/Info-on-New-Major-Developments list developments in the City. Currently, some developments are under construction and unoccupied. They are Altus, Soleil, Foster Martin, Monaco and Verve. Suppose property tax for new residences is added when the development gets its occupancy permit, what is the expected property tax revenue that will be generated in 2022/2023 from these developments?


In the 2022 Proposed Financial Plan on page 21, number 4 under Impact of Unfunded Positions, one of the positions was hiring a Rec and Culture Program coordinator with an annual cost of $77,500. I am part of the Arts & Culture Advisory Committee and can attest to the real need for this position to mobilize at least 75% of the Cultural Strategic Plan. Without this position, the past two years of the ACC’s work on creating the Cultural Strategic plan would have been a waste. In the Cultural Strategic Plan which Council approved in 2021, the report states that the number one priority is the need for this position to achieve the goals and vision established by the ACC. The goals are to facilitate economic development through the arts, address the lack of arts and cultural infrastructure and sustain diverse arts programs and festivals. This position would increase cultural programming and marketing, and the benefits include increased economic impact and community connection. This position would also help pave the way to create a volunteer program in the City. I, therefore, urge Council to add this position into the budget and the hire for this position.


On October 26th, 2020, an article in the Peace Arch News called Civic centre could be part of new 23-storey White rock Condo Tower (https://www.peacearchnews.com/news/civic-centre-could-be-part-of-new-23-storey-white-rock-condo-tower/) was published. It states that the CAC contributing to the city to move City Hall to Town Centre is equivalent to about $5.5 million, whereas constructing a new free-standing city hall would cost $16 million to $20 million. The city has currently allocated $3 million to renovate and fix the existing city hall's seismic issues (page 158 in 2022 Proposed Financial Plan). Would it not make sense to revisit this plan of moving City Hall to town centre, therefore saving the city $3 Million in renovation costs, get a free City Hall to the tune of $5.5 million (in CAC Contribution) AND still own the land where old City Hall was which can be redeveloped into a new civic space i.e. an amphitheatre, that would generate more revenue for the city and help offset future property tax increases?

Thank you!

Elaine Cheung & Michele Partridge
Residents and Business Owners in the City of White Rock

elaine_cheung 3 months ago

1. Is the expected revenue from new tenants living in several new highrises accounted for in the budget? We don't see a line item. And if so, what is the projected revenue?
2. Given the backlog in building permits, do you plan on hiring in the planning and development department?
3. You have allocated 4 million to affordable housing, what is the plan? There's no mention of it in the budget. Just that you have 4 million set for affordable housing.

Michele Partridge & Elaine Cheung 3 months ago

1. It appears that there will be a projected increase in Grant Revenue of about $5K for each of the next few years. Is this a good ROI for hiring a $101,000. Grant Writer FT Position? Consider some a grant writing contractor, whose comp is based on results.
2.Why have there been increased hirings in Rec & Culture during last two years when most programs were shut down due to Covid? In anticipation of opening events, consider using contractors for certain event management until certainty returns.
3. With Parks staff increased from 12 to 16, has there been a corresponding reduction in Contractors used for maintenance and projects. BTW - the City-Scaping is generally looking good this year.
4. Could there be cost savings made by combining Departments, e.g.- roll HR in with Admin?
5. There is no projection of what Commercial Property taxes will be. Almost all businesses in WR have had a terrible two years with Covid shutdowns, road construction, etc. Now is not the time to hit commercial properties with a tax increase. Consider shifting any budget increases from Commercial to Residential.

kbreaks@t 3 months ago

1. It appears that there will be a projected increase in Grant Revenue of about $5K for each of the next few years. Is this a good ROI for hiring a $101,000. Grant Writer FT Position? Consider some a grant writing contractor, whose comp is based on results.
2.Why have there been increased hirings in Rec & Culture during last two years when most programs were shut down due to Covid? In anticipation of opening events, consider using contractors for certain event management until certainty returns.
3. With Parks staff increased from 12 to 16, has there been a corresponding reduction in Contractors used for maintenance and projects. BTW - the City-Scaping is generally looking good this year.
4. Could there be cost savings made by combining Departments, e.g.- roll HR in with Admin?
5. There is no projection of what Commercial Property taxes will be. Almost all businesses in WR have had a terrible two years with Covid shutdowns, road construction, etc. Now is not the time to hit commercial properties with a tax increase. Consider shifting any budget increases from Commercial to Residential.

kbreaks@t 3 months ago

It would be good to see more effective use of funds allocated to maintenance in White Rock. Requests for repairs of lighting on stairs between Upper Roper and Macdonald have been unanswered for over 4 years, despite requests from residents. Barricades put up in attempts to avoid lawsuits are moved and left for months after people take them down so their dogs can use the areas behind them. Ineffective seeding on the promenade area etc, etc.
Covid is just the latest excuse used to avoid dealing with a wide variety of issues while counsel focusses on Christmas Lights and individual agendas.

Barbara 4 months ago
Page last updated: 02 Mar 2022, 05:04 PM