Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 9, 2016 Council Meeting Notes - Financial plan and property tax change approved

Last night’s Council meeting started off as a Committee of the Whole. A Committee of the Whole allows for a more open discussion between members of Council and the public. The City was seeking feedback on Bylaw 2986. This is a financial housekeeping bylaw which reconciles the proposed 2015-2019 Financial Plan with the actual results.

2015-19 Financial Plan actual results. Select image to enlarge.

There was no comments from the public nor was there comments from Council. Council then moved into the regular meeting. Bylaw 2986 was given final reading and approved at the beginning of the meeting.

Next, Councillor Storteboom gave a presentation about Local Government Awareness Day which was held on Wednesday, April 20th. Grade 4 and 5 students from local Langley schools went on a tour of some of the City of Langley’s facilities, and learned about the various City departments. Councillor Storteboom thanked staff members for their help throughout the day. Councillor Storteboom also awarded Sophia Saria a certificate for winning the “Energy is Awesome” drawing contest. Beside the certificate, Mayor Schaffer will be delivering a free lunch to her class.

Council next heard from Shannon Todd-Booth from Langley Hospice Society. She gave a presentation that outlined the history of the society which started in 1983, and their mandate for providing end-of-life care and bereavement support.

The Hospice Society’s Residence is located at the Langley Memorial Hospital. The current facility can accommodate 10 people, and is in need of an upgrade. Todd-Booth said that the society has been working with Fraser Health to secure a new site for a hospice residence that could accommodate 15 people. They currently have 50% of the funding in place, and are hopeful that the province will partner with them to ensure full funding for the new facility.

The Langley Hospice Society runs their other programs through their Langley City facility. Todd-Booth stressed that it was important to keep their bereavement support programs physical separated from the palliative care residence. Some 5,400 people accessed their services over the last year. More information on the services offered is available on their website. Langley Hospice Society won the Langley Chamber of Commerce Community Impact award in 2014.

Councillor Storteboom followed with his update on the Metro Vancouver Board. Many of the topics he covered have been posted about on this blog. Councillor Albrecht asked some following up questions to the update from Councillor Storteboom. Councillor Storteboom promised to email him with the answers.

Councillor Martin gave a update about Tourism Langley. She noted that the hotel tax must now be renewed which requires the approval of hotel owners both in the City and Township of Langley. If the renewal is approved, it will be forwarded to Council no later than the end of September for final approval.

Rick Bomhof provided an Engineering, Parks & Environment update. He noted the new 2016 Lawn Sprinkling Restrictions. He also explained that the City of Langley is currently working on renewing water mains in Salt Lane and along 203rd Street. The City is also busy replacing sewer lines along 201A Street and 203rd Street. Bomhof said that the City is continuing with the roll-out of new street name signs which have a higher visibility. He explained some of the other spring maintenance tasks that keep City streets working.

One of the projects that I’m excited about is the City of Langley’s LED streetlight pilot program. 12 new LED lights were recently installed along 200th Street. I asked Bomhof what the total life-cycle cost savings were for LED streetlights. He said that the City is working on a report of the pilot, and will be presenting a business case this summer to replace all City streetlights with LEDs. Included in the business case will be the cost saving analysis.

Kim Hilton gave the Recreation Update. You can learn more about the various events and recreation opportunities available from the City’s website.

Next council gave final reading and approved Bylaw 2985 which sets the property tax rate for 2016. This was based on the 2016-2020 Financial Plan. Property Tax is increasing 3.75%. This works out to an average $71 increase for single family house owners, and an average reduction of $39 for strata lot owners.

Council gave final reading and approved Bylaw 2987 which restricts animals, with the exception of service and guide animals, from being within public facilities such as Timms Community Centre.

Council gave first and second reading to Bylaw 2989 which, if approved, will authorize the removal of a land-use contract from a property to allow a legal secondary suite. Land-use contracts are an old-style regulation tool that is no longer used. In fact by 2024, the province has said they will move forward with discharging all land-use contracts.

What land-use contracts were used for back in the day is now handled through zoning and developer cost charges.

Council finally approved three motions. One motion appointed me as Deputy Mayor from June 1st until July 31st. The second appointed Dan Millsip to the Parks, Recreation and Environment Advisory Committee filling the seat that I vacated when elected. Councillor Storteboom was appointed to the Langley Refugee Immigrant Advisory Committee.

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