Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Help Shape Langley’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Your Input Requested.

New Al Anderson Memorial Pool Multipurpose Room

Langley City and the Township of Langley are jointly working on a Poverty Reduction Strategy for our community through the Langley Poverty Reduction Task Group. As one of the first steps in creating this strategy, the task group would like to understand people’s experiences living in Langley via a survey.

The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete, and people who complete the survey will be entered into a draw to win one of three $100 grocery store gift cards.

The task group would like to understand what makes Langley a good place to live and understand what barriers and challenges people face living in the community, including financial concerns. The task group would also like to understand what would help people overcome their barriers and challenges.

You can take the survey online at: https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/LangleyPovertyReductionSurvey

You can also pick up a paper copy of the survey at any Fraser Valley Regional Library branch in Langley.

If you have time, please take this survey and encourage others you know to take it. If you know someone with limited mobility and no Internet access, please pick up a survey at a library branch, so that they can complete it.

The survey is open until December 10th.

Please visit the City’s website to learn more about the “Live well in Langley” Poverty Reduction Strategy. The task group is planning to complete the strategy in the spring of 2022.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

November 22 Council Notes: Portage Park Plaques, Living Wage Plaque, and a $7.5 Million Loan

In January, Langley City Council heard a delegation from the Living Wage for Families Campaign calling for our municipality to become a living wage employer. A living wage in Metro Vancouver is $20.52 per hour.

Living Wage for Families BC defines a living wage as “the hourly amount that each of two working parents with two young children must earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child care, food and transportation) once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies are taken into account.”

In April, Langley City Council adopted policies to ensure it is a living wage employer. On Monday, November 22nd, Langley City received an Official Living Wage Employer plaque from Living Wage for Families BC.

Portage Park

Portage Park has a variety of tree species. Most people, including I, do not know the names of most of the tree species in the park. Langley City’s Environmental Task Group proposed that the City budget $10,000 in next year’s capital budget to install long-lasting signs to label these trees, including with indigenous names.

The Environmental Task Group also asked that City staff explore adding evergreen tree planters along the one-way section of Fraser Highway as it is devoid of greenery in the winter. Langley City staff were not supportive of this recommendation as the Fraser Highway one-way is now planned to be completely rebuilt in 2023. As such, this request did not move forward.

This year, Council proposed a $7.5 million loan for strategic property acquisition to support SkyTrain to Langley. The City will pay off the loan over 15 years. This proposal went through an Alternative Approval Process with Council approving the loan in June.

In BC, regional districts must approve and borrow on behalf of their member municipalities. The Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia, whose board of trustees includes representation for all regional districts in BC, issues these loans. The Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia has an excellent credit rating, and as such, municipalities pay lower interest rates than you would find at your bank.

Council approved formally asking the Metro Vancouver Regional District to consent to the City borrowing $7.5 million from the Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia. This request is a necessary formality and is almost certain to be approved by the regional district.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Water, Sewer, and Garbage Rate Changes in Langley City

Metro Vancouver Regional District’s Cleveland Dam

If you own property in Langley City, two components on your tax bill are water and sewer usage charges. You are also charged a fee for garbage collection if you own a detached house.

Langely City utilizes Metro Vancouver Vancouver Regional District water and sewer services. The regional district’s costs represent about 60 cents on each dollar the City charges property tax owners for water and sewer services.

To meet the needs of a growing region, replace end-of-life infrastructure, and satisfy stringent new federal regulations, the regional district is investing billions of dollars in renewing water and sewer services. This renewal means that the water and sewer rates that the regional district charges Langley City are climbing and will almost double over the next ten years.

Langley City Council approved in principle the following rate changes for 2022:

The water rate will increase 9¢/m3 to $1.53/m3, with the flat rate of $75 remaining unchanged. The average total water cost for a detached house owner will be $579.90 and $365.70 for a townhouse/apartment owner.

The sewer rate will increase 8¢/m3 to $1.41/m3, with the flat rate of $75 remaining unchanged. The average total sewer cost for a detached house owner will be $447.24 and $289.32 for a townhouse/apartment owner.

If you own a detached house, your garbage rate will increase by $20 to $230 per year.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Help Make Christmas Merry for All Families in Langley. Your Support is Needed.

Merry Christmas

The Langley Christmas Bureau helps ensure that all families in our community can enjoy a merry Christmas by providing support to buy toys for each child in a family and food for a Christmas meal.

The Bureau’s goal is to raise $280,000 this year. Unfortunately, donations are lower than expected this year, so the Bureau needs your help.

A $50 donation will buy a toy for one child. A $350 donation will buy toys and a meal for a family of four.

Any amount will help. To donation, please visit https://www.langleychristmasbureau.com/financial-donations/