Budget 2024 - Town of Gibsons

Each year, Council and staff undertake a budgeting process which sets out the provision of essential services, planned initiatives and related financial parameters for the coming year and the next five years. The decisions made during this process are guided by the Strategic Plan, which helps define Council’s key areas of focus during their term.

We encourage our community to follow the annual budget process and to provide feedback to Council throughout.

How to get involved:

 

2024 Budget Discussions

February 7: Community Dialogue on Town Budget Priorities

Presentation: 2024 Budget Community Dialogue Presentation PDF

Notes from the meeting will be available soon.

January 23: Committee-of-the-Whole

Staff presented the long-term financial plan and preliminary operations and capital budgets for the Town’s Water and Sanitary Sewer Services.

Staff noted that both long term financial plans are under significant pressure due to the combination of escalating construction costs, aging infrastructure, and the ongoing asset replacement backlog. Based on updated construction costs, the cost of addressing just the backlog translates into 28 million dollars being required to replace existing sewer infrastructure (95% are sewermains) and $12 million being required for water infrastructure (90% watermains).

A minimum 5% rate increase was recommended for 2024, recognizing that changes to Accessory Dwelling unit charges would also be affecting the rates this year, but noted that higher rate increases will be required in the future. A 5% increase for a single-family residential property would result in an additional $37.06 for sewer and $47.75 for water (sample household that used 320m3 per year).

For Sanitary Sewer, the user rate structures would be adjusted to apply one minimum charge per residential property and/or residential strata property, regardless of the number of accessory dwelling units, beginning April 1, 2024. Charges for Accessory Dwellings for Stream 2 RGAs will continue to be applied.

Furthermore, as per Council’s request, staff adjusted Garbage and Organics rate structures for consideration in the budget discussions.

The changes would include adjusting the user rate structures for Garbage and Organics services to apply one minimum charge per residential property and/or residential strata property, regardless of the number of accessory dwelling units, beginning April 1, 2024.

This option will remove the automatic charge applied to accessory dwelling units and will only apply the additional charges where service is required. This will result in a higher rate increase per user but will result in a fairer application of the user fees to those properties that use the service.

Related Documents:

2024 Sanitary Sewer LTFP Update

2024-01-23 Preliminary Sanitary Sewer and Water 5-Year Capital Plans Report

2024-2028 Prelim Sewer Capital Budget

2024-01-23 Prelim Sewer Ops Budget Report

2024-2028 Preliminary Sewer Operating Budget

2024 Water LTFP Update

2024-2028 Prelim Water Capital Budget

2024-01-23 Prelim Water Ops Budget Report

2024-2028 Preliminary Water Operating Budget

2024-01-23 Garbage and Organics Program Rate Increase

 

Upcoming Budget Meetings:

  • 23-Feb-24 – Council: Request for Pre-Budget Approvals /User Fee Increases – Council Direction to prepare bylaws
  • 23-Feb-24- Committee: Preliminary General Operations Budget
  • 05-Mar-24 – Council: Rates Fees & Charges Bylaw (1196) 1st/2nd/3rd readings (Water, Sewer, Garbage User Rates )
  • 05-Mar-24 – Council: General Operations Budget cont’d, Update #1 / Policing Report / Tax Burden
  • 19-Mar-24 – Committee: General 1 & 5 Year Capital/Project Plans
  • 19-Mar-24 – Council: Rates, Fees & Charges Bylaw 1196 adoption
  • 26-Mar-24 – Committee: General Operations Budget Update #2 AND Revised General 1 & 5 Year Capital/Projects Plans AND
    Final direction / committee recommendations.
  • TBD – ONLY IF REQUIRED Committee: General Ops & Capital Budget Update AND Final direction / committee recommendations.
  • 09-Apr-24 – Council: Council direction (based on committee recommendations received). Summary Final Presentation from Director of Finance
  • 3-Apr-24 – Council: Fin Plan Bylaw & Tax Rate Bylaw for 1st/2nd/3rd readings
  • 07-May-24 – Council: Fin Plan Bylaw & Tax Rate Bylaw for adoption
  • 14-May-24 – Council: Deadline for Tax Bylaws

*Times may be subject to change, please confirm details one week prior to meeting.

View the full calendar at gibsons.civicweb.net

Operating Budget:
Some costs, like wages, road repairs, sewer treatment and other services are ongoing and similar from year to year. The cost of providing many of these services increases each year, due to the increasing costs of materials, wages, utilities and other factors. This is what we call the “base operating budget”. Changes to the base budget result in service-level changes and need to be approved by Council. Each year, staff submit their base operating budgets for Council’s consideration, as well as any new ongoing expenses or one-time operating expenses that may help to streamline existing processes or improve services for community members.

Capital Budget:
Capital budget requests include major infrastructure projects like maintaining our roads, buildings and sewers, as well as major studies or assessments that are often contracted to a consultant. Some of these projects are required to maintain assets and infrastructure. Some are things that may improve physical spaces or provide new opportunities to help meet Council’s strategic goals.

General Operating Fund: The General Operating Fund is the Town’s main operating fund. It captures the costs associated with providing the following municipal services to residents and property owners:

  • Council
  • Corporate Administration
  • ICBC/Driver Services
  • Financial Services
  • Planning Services
  • Protective Services (Building, Bylaw, Animal Control)
  • Infrastructure Services
    • Municipal Buildings
    • Public Works: Roads, Drainage, Solid Waste, Snow Removal, District Energy Utility, Fleet
    • Parks and Cultural Services

Revenues to fund the services listed above come from:

  • Property taxation
  • Garbage and organic program user fees
  • Investment income
  • Property rental income
  • ICBC/Driver Services commissions
  • Donations/Other Recoveries
  • Planning and development related licenses and permit fees
  • Operating grants from the Province of BC

Budget Timeline Overview 2023-2027

October to January:

  • Staff prepare budget requests (Water, Sewer, General).

December to January:

  • Council workshop with staff on budget requirements for the upcoming year.
  • Through public engagement, Council hears from community members on their top priorities for the year.
  • With input from staff and community members, Council reviews input before formal deliberations begin.

January to February:

  • Council reviews operational and capital budget requests and considers early approval for projects.

March

  • Council continues with ongoing budget deliberations.
  • Council determines additional public engagement opportunities.

April

  • Operational and capital budget requests will be approved, deferred, or removed by Council.
  • Five-Year Financial Plan Bylaw is drafted for Council consideration.

May

  • Three readings and adoption of 5-Year Financial Plan.
    The Community Charter states that “each year, after adoption of the financial plan, but before May 15th, a council must, by bylaw, impose property value taxes for the year”.