Port Coquitlam’s 2019 Budget Meets Key Community Needs
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – April 17, 2019… Port Coquitlam is moving ahead with a 2019 budget that addresses key community needs such as infrastructure, safety and recreation.
The $106-million budget, scheduled for adoption on May 14, includes a 2.99 per cent municipal tax increase for the average home assessed at $818,445.
One per cent of the increase is dedicated to construction of the new Port Coquitlam Community Centre, where amenities will begin opening this fall. Long-term replacement of critical infrastructure, such as roads and buildings, account for another one per cent.
“Our budget reflects what we heard from the community during our recent budget consultation,” Mayor Brad West said. “We’re continuing to make investments in roads and capital projects and support other core city services for a growing community, always keeping a focus on providing good value to our taxpayers.”
More than 700 people provided feedback to the city’s annual budget survey in March, up from 505 in 2018. The general themes were consistent with past surveys, with respondents being most satisfied with fire services and parks and wanting to see improvements to traffic control, city cleanliness and road conditions.
“We thank all those who took the budget survey – feedback is important for us when we make our budget decisions,” said Cllr. Dean Washington, Council’s designate for finance matters. “Keep an eye out around the community for some of the signs of your tax dollars at work, from road work to a greater police presence.”
Budget highlights for 2019 include:
- Funding for the new Port Coquitlam Community Centre,
- Funding for long-term infrastructure replacement, and
- A share of six new RCMP officers who will focus on traffic, youth, sex crimes and domestic violence.
These costs would be offset by revenue from new development and adjustments for vacancies and contract savings.
Another $567,000 in one-time improvements 2019 will be funded by surplus or reserve accounts and would not affect this year’s taxes. These include:
- User-friendly downtown directional and parking signs,
- Digitization of property records,
- Continuing asset management work for the long-term management of City infrastructure,
- Funding for the new Port Coquitlam Event Society,
- Support for Port Coquitlam Community Foundation, Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable and Port Coquitlam Heritage and Cultural Society,
- A large video screen and speakers for the Remembrance Day ceremony, and
- Funding to increase marketing of City’s recreation programs, events and other services.
The budget also includes funding for the $90-million 2019-2020 capital budget adopted in the fall. Capital projects this year include:
- Continuing city-wide LED streetlight conversions,
- Completion of upgrades to Centennial Pool,
- Sidewalk, pedestrian safety, cycling and traffic calming projects,
- A new spray park for Castle Park,
- Drinking water fountains at Leigh Square and Gates Park,
- Improvements to Fox Park playground and Thompson Park ball fields,
- 3.5 kilometres of road rehabilitation and utility works, and
- Detailed design work for Prairie Avenue improvements.
Residential assessments overall in Port Coquitlam rose an average of 6.45 per cent from last year. Properties whose assessment rose more than the 6.45 per cent average will pay more than the average tax increase, while those whose assessment rose less than 6.45 per cent will pay less. For this reason, multi-family homes may see larger increases in 2019 than single-family homes; average assessments for townhomes were up 9.47 per cent and apartments up 12.27 per cent, while those for single-family homes only increased 3.15 per cent.
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Manager of Financial Planning and Systems
City of Port Coquitlam