The Community Charter requires that council adopt by bylaw a Five Year Financial Plan each year. The purpose of the Five Year Financial Plan is to provide a budgetary framework for the district to plan the management of its resources, revenues and expenditures in order to best serve the community. Council considered the Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw, 2011 on April 11.
Draft versions of the 2011 Five Year Financial Plan for the District of Sooke have been presented and discussed at Committee of the Whole meetings throughout February and April. The proposed property tax increase for the municipal portion of the 2011 tax bill is 2.99 per cent; which translates to $29 per average assessed household and generates approximately $180,000 in additional revenue to apply to municipal expenditures.
Funding for key initiatives has been allocated based on the strategic directions as identified and approved by council in the 2011 Strategic Plan.
Well Planned, Sustainable Community
•$20,000 funding for the development of a Downtown Parking Plan
•$75,000 funding for the development of a Solid Waste Management Plan (100 per cent grant funding dependent)
•A further $20,000 funding for the completion of the Zoning Bylaw review
•$5,000 funding to supplement the in-house development of a Affordable Housing strategy
•$7,500 funding to supplement the in-house development of an Agricultural Plan.
Responsible Stewardship of the Environment
•$350,000 funding for the installation of a roundabout on Sooke Road to reduce vehicle idling and green house gas emission
Proactive Improved Infrastructure
•$135,000 to resurface Maple Avenue to be performed in conjunction with Capital Regional District Water Department’s water main upgrade
•$50,000 for culvert replacement
•$22,700 for installation of new public garbage receptacles, street lighting and glass transit shelters
•$2,980,000 funding for the construction of Phase I of the alternative connector road from Phillips Road to Charters Road
Diverse and Vibrant Local Economy
•$5,000 funding for the establishment of a community radio
•$10,000 funding for convention hosting
•$35,000 funding for promoting and marketing the Sooke region in conjunction with Rogers’ Sportsnet
Sustainable Financial Management
Establishment of the Capital Asset Replacement Reserve matches the district’s needs for investment in capital with available financial resources and to minimize borrowing. The purpose of the Reserve is for replacement of ageing infrastructure with funding transfer equivalent to a percentage of the total asset values. Annually, a minimum of 0.5 per cent of the previous year’s amortization expense will be transferred to the reserve.
The District is continuing with its goal of transferring 15 per cent of property taxes to capital projects in future years. In 2011 alone, the district will be transferring $598,982 to capital reserves to finance future expenditures.
The District of Sooke collects taxes for both the municipality and a number of other governing bodies. Of the total property tax, only 42 per cent is applied directly to municipal services.