Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Langley City Council awards $140,426 in grants to help local non-profits

One of Langley City Council’s policies is to make $168,000 in Community Grants available annually. The City funds this grant program out of the revenue it receives from the casino.

Beyond non-profits, Community Grants are also available to people in a neighbourhood that want to host a block party to promote getting to know your neighbours, improving health and community safety.

Council approved $140,426 in grants last night as follows.

Organization Amount
Bard in the Valley $14,000.00
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley $5,000.00
Boys and Girls Club of Langley $3,275.00
Canadian Festival of Chili & BBQ $6,000.00
Community Arts Council of Vancouver $1,500.00
Copper for Kids Foundation $1,000.00
DLBA – Arts Alive Festival $12,500.00
Douglas Park Pickleball $5,000.00
Encompass – Best Babies $1,160.00
Encompass – Friends of Dorothy $2,500.00
Family Services of Greater Vancouver $1,500.00
Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation $2,000.00
Fraser Region Community Justice Initiatives Association $1,000.00
Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards $1,500.00
Langley 4H District Council $150.00
Langley Amateur Radio Association $250.00
Langley Animal Protection Society $5,000.00
Langley Arts Council $4,666.00
Langley Care Foundation – Langley Lodge $5,000.00
Langley Community Farmers Market $2,500.00
Langley Field Naturalists $2,500.00
Langley Flippers Swim Club $1,000.00
Langley Fundamental Middle & Secondary Dry Grad $500.00
Langley Lawn Bowling Club $2,500.00
Langley Literacy Association $2,500.00
Langley Pos-Abilities Society $4,000.00
Langley Rotary Clubs – RibFest Langley $5,000.00
Langley Scholarship Committee $4,500.00
Langley Senior Resources Society $15,000.00
Langley Volunteer Bureau $1,650.00
Langley Ukulele Association $2,500.00
Parkinson Society BC $500.00
Pitch-In Canada $425.00
PLEA – Children on the Street $1,000.00
Terry Fox Run $1,500.00
Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association $4,250.00
Vancouver Area Youth Arts – Formerly KPU Music Fest $5,500.00
Volunteer Cancer Drivers $1,000.00
Youth Parliament $1,000.00
Zajac Ranch Society $5,600.00
Douglas Park Temporary Washroom Facilities $2,500.00

There is $27,574 that Council can still allocate this year, so there is another grant intake window. For more information, please visit Langley City’s website.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Prezoning to speed up development approvals is a double-edged sword.

A townhouse project

One of the goals of some municipalities, the provincial government, and the development industry is to have municipalities speed up the time it takes from when an application to develop a project is submitted to City Hall to when a building permit is issued.

In Langley City, the process starts with a development applicant working with City staff to ensure their project complies with all City bylaws and policies and that all application forms, reports, drawings, and fees are paid. The development applicant will also receive feedback from City departments, which they must incorporate into their project.

A project then goes through the City’s Advisory Design Panel. The Panel includes architects, landscape architects, an accessibility representative, business community representatives, Langley City residents, the RCMP, and the School District representative. They provide independent recommendations about the design of a development project. The City encourages development applicants to incorporate the feedback from the Panel into their projects.

Almost all development projects, except for detaching housing projects, require rezoning even if there are compliant with the City’s Official Community Plan because the underlying zoning is usually outdated.

The rezoning process takes three public Council meetings and a public hearing. At a minimum, this process takes about six weeks.

Depending on a project’s complexity, it can take four to six months to work through Langley City Hall.

While Langley City’s process is fast compared to most municipalities in Metro Vancouver, we hear from time to time that the City should prezone property to speed up the process further. If the City prezoned properties to comply with the City’s Official Community Plan, it could speed up the City’s process by about a month. Sounds good, right?

Unfortunately, rezoning is the primary way municipalities can capture some of the increased value from development projects that municipalities can use for public benefit.

Without getting too technical, the City can negotiate affordable housing and additional money to fund City projects beyond Development Cost Charges (which are highly regulated in BC) during the rezoning process. Without rezoning, the City loses the opportunity to negotiate these public benefits.

Right now, the City could speed up the development process by two weeks by eliminating rezoning public hearings, which are not required in most situations in BC anymore.

If the province made the Development Cost Charge program less restrictive and allowed municipalities to create affordable housing contribution bylaws, municipalities would no longer need rezoning as a negotiating tool. These changes would reduce the time it takes for the development project to get through City Hall. Unless that happens, I couldn’t support prezoning in Langley City as it would reduce the public benefit that development projects provide our community.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Recycling and Garbage: More Work to be Done to Reduce Waste

The Metro Vancouver Regional District has recently released its annual summary report for solid waste management. The report includes data up to the year 2021.

The total amount of solid waste diverted from ending up in a landfill or incinerated is slowly declining in absolute terms and per capita even as our population grows.

Total waste generation, disposal and recycling rates per capita. Select the chart to enlarge.

While recycling is great, it is even better not to generate waste in the first place. The per capita solid waste generation rate has been steady for nearly a decade. Federal and provincial regulations, grants, and incentives are likely required to continue to reduce the amount of packaging to reduce the amount of waste generated. In the construction sector, we must promote and incentivize new ways of reusing construction material from demolition.

The following table shows solid waste that is deposed or recycled by sector.

Metro Vancouver recycling and disposal by sector. Select the table to enlarge.

Mulit-family (attached housing) has the lowest recycling rate. Most people in Metro Vancouver live in attached housing, such as apartments and townhouses, so we may have to rethink how we manage waste from these property types. Getting attached housing to the detached housing recycling rate would significantly reduce waste going to landfills or incinerated.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Metro Vancouver Water and Sewer Fees – Options to Reduce Future Increases

As I’ve posted about in the past, Langley City uses the water and sewer user fees you pay to maintain Langley City’s distribution and collection systems as well as to pay for regional district water and sewer services. About 50% of the water fee on your property tax (or City utility bill) goes to the Metro Vancouver Regional District, and about 40% of your sewer fee goes to the regional district.

The regional district must complete many significant projects over the decade. As a result, they expect the water fee they charge to municipalities to increase by 1.5 times and the sewer fee to double. Municipalities incorporate these costs into their water and sewer fees charged to residents and businesses.

Metro Vancouver Regional District major capital projects. Select the chart to enlarge.

About 60% of the proposed regional district water projects are to support population growth. For most growth projects, regional districts and municipalities collect development fees. Currently, the provincial government doesn’t allow the Metro Vancouver Regional District to collect development fees for water projects, but that is changing. The regional district can collect development fees for sewer projects, of which 38% are to support growth.

Approach to reducing fees between 2023-27. Select the chart to enlarge.

The regional district will be able to use increased developer fees to help offset some of the currently proposed increases in user fees. They will also be looking a what projects they can put off. They are doing this by doubling down on conservation efforts. For example, some municipalities have “leaky” sewer systems where rainwater and raw sewage get mixed. They are looking at wet weather pricing for sewers to encourage municipalities to fix this problem. The regional district is also looking at seasonal water pricing to promote conservation in low-rain months.

The regional district board has a Financial Plan Task Force, which is looking at options to align medium-term financial planning to reduce user fee increases.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Regional Growth Strategy Performance Review: Concentrated Residential Growth, Sprawling Jobs

As local governments, we create plans and strategies to guide our work. Without measurements, it is next to impossible to see if a plan or strategy is working. For Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy, the regional district completes an annual interactive performance report which is available on its website. I wanted to highlight some trends from the most recent annual performance report.

Map of the Urban Growth Boundary, Urban Centres, and Transit Corridors. Select the map to enlarge.

Over the last decade, Metro Vancouver’s Urban Containment Boundary has remained relatively intact, with 98% of growth occurring within the boundary. The boundary protects rural lands from urban sprawl.

To support high-quality, frequent transit service, one of the long-standing goals of the region is to concentrate growth within urban centres and along transit corridors. Regionally, local governments have done a good job of focusing the development of residential housing within these centres, but have done a poor job of concentrating jobs within these centres. The regional goal is to have 50% of job growth within urban centres, but to date, only 33% of job growth is within urban centres.

Metro Vancouver lost 1,640 hectares of sensitive and modified ecosystems between 2009 and 2014. The regional district will have updated data on this earlier this year. The regional district is not on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There was only a 1% drop in GHG emissions between 2010 and 2020. Of course, GHG emission reduction requires strong policies from the provincial and federal governments.

On a positive note, more people are taking transit, walking, and cycling. About 55% of trips occur with one person occupied vehicles in our region. Half our region’s population is within easy walking distance of a frequent or rapid transit route.

The regional district expects more 2021 Census data to be available this year, allowing them to update many of the metrics they track for the regional growth strategy.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Metro Vancouver mayors ask feds to double-down on transit investment to keep our region’s economy going

Reliable and fast transit helps keep our region’s economy going. It gives us an affordable travel option and a way out of congestion.


In Metro Vancouver, transit ridership continues to recover, but it will take a few more years to recover region-wide fully. At the same time, ridership has recovered in some parts of the region, such as the South of Fraser. Some bus routes are overcrowded, and some bus routes are getting bogged down in congestion today. We also know that a million more people will move to our region over the next 25 years, and the only way to keep Metro Vancouver moving will be by doubling down on transit service investments.

The federal government is asking for formal feedback to help shape its 2023 budget. Yesterday, TransLink’s Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation called on the federal government to take four concrete actions.

  1. Provide $250 million in Emergency Transit Relief Funding to TransLink, to be matched by the Government of B.C., to protect existing transit service levels in 2023-25 and enable TransLink to begin improving and expanding transit starting in late 2024 to meet urgent and growing needs.
  2. Accelerate the delivery of the Permanent Transit Fund (PTF) by two years from the original commitment of 2026/27 to 2024/25 to avoid delaying the transit service expansion needed starting in 2024 to meet national and provincial GHG emission targets, respond to the housing affordability crisis and serve quickly growing ridership. A permanent, predictable transit funding program will enable TransLink to begin delivering the expanded transit services and active transportation projects outlined in TransLink’s Transport 2050 10-Year Priorities. The need for this accelerated timeline is particularly acute in Metro Vancouver, which has already utilized its share of funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan (ICIP). An accelerated PTF should also:
    1. Ensure complementary provincial contributions.
    2. Include an annual cost escalator of 3.5% and be enshrined in legislation.
    3. Direct funding support to transit projects that are identified in region-wide, long-range transportation plans that are developed through extensive public engagement and consultation, align with land-use plans, and include actionable objectives and targets that meet key national, provincial and local objectives, in particular to address climate change targets and the affordability crisis, and which minimize transportation projects’ adverse impact on local communities and businesses.
  3. Permanently double the Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly known as the Gas Tax Fund) as was done in 2019, 2021 and 2022, and increase its annual escalator to 3.5% to better reflect construction cost inflation. The Canada Community-Building Fund provides direct, reliable infrastructure funding to local governments, including for public transit.
  4. Launch a tri-partite national commission together with provinces, local governments and transit agencies to develop a new funding model for public transit that is more resilient and equitable by avoiding overreliance on regressive sources such as transit fares and property taxes. A new funding model will ensure that transit agencies have the resources needed for the increased operating and capital requirements to meet national, provincial and local expectations of public transit services.

As a note, the federal government announced the permanent public transit fund in 2021, to start in 2026. Today without the permanent fund, the Mayors’ Council, province and TransLink need to negotiate with the federal government on a project-by-project basis. This process is slow, inefficient and subject to election cycles. The permanent public transit fund would provide stability, supporting the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision, allowing these much-needed projects to get started quicker.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Public feedback on Langley City’s proposed 2023 budget. Provincial funding for municipalities.

As part of the budget process, Langley City provides opportunities for people to learn about our proposed annual budgets and provide feedback.

The City posted the budget documents online and held an open house on Tuesday, February 7th. Around 21 people attended the open house. Six of the people who attended the open house provided written feedback.

People could also email City Council their feedback as advertised online and in the newspaper. We received one email.

The general theme of the feedback was support for the direction of the budget but concern about the property tax increase and people wanting to defer items to reduce this year’s proposed increase. However, no one provided guidance on what items they wanted to postpone that would meaningfully reduce the property tax increase.

On Monday at 7 pm, Council provided an opportunity for people to speak directly to Council about the budget. Three people provided their comments to Council verbally. One person wanted to reduce the proposed property tax increase, and another person spoke entirely in support of the budget. The final person was a representative of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce. He said he didn’t have a line item that he thought Council should remove from the budget but asked Council to “smooth out” the tax increase.

On the topic of the budget, the provincial government announced that they would be distributing a one-time investment of $1 billion to municipalities from their budget surplus. The province will allocate this funding based on a formula. While we don’t have the exact amount, Langley City may receive around $5 million.

Like virtually all BC municipalities, Langley City has an infrastructure debt. We currently have about a $10 million annual deficit between what we invest into renewal projects and what we need to invest. These projects include repaving roads and replacing end-of-life water and sewer lines. This gap means that each year our infrastructure debt is growing. A part of this year’s proposed property tax increase is to help start closing that gap. Council will need to increase property over the coming decade to close this gap slowly. The recently announced money from the province will help us chip away at the growing infrastructure debt, but it doesn’t negate the need for the City to close our annual funding deficit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

February 13 Council Notes: $1,000 Cheque, SkyTrain Update, Langley Emergency Program

I attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Regina last summer. I had a conversation with the former Mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson, who now works for the Co-operators. His role is to encourage municipalities to reduce insurance risk by building climate adaptation projects and climate-resilient infrastructure. We exchanged contact information, and he sent me a survey to complete. For those that completed the survey, he entered their names into a draw. The winners would have $1,000 donated to the non-profit of their choice. My name was one of five drawn. Last night, Bethany Heppner, the owner of one of the Langley Co-operators locations, presented a cheque to Encompass Support Services Society. Encompass operates the Langley Foundry, which provides a one-stop location for young people to access mental health and substance use support, primary doctor care, peer support and social services.

Cheque presentation to Encompass Support Services Society. Left, Nathan Pachal. Center, Bethany Heppner. Right, Christine McCraken from Encompass.

Council also received an update from Transportation Investment Corporation, the provincial crown corporation building the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension. They stated that the project is full steam ahead and expect to have all the contracts awarded this year for major construction to start in 2024. To date, over $130 million in projects are completed or in process to support the SkyTrain extension. These projects include widening Fraser Highway in Green Timbers and relocating underground utilities and BC Hydro poles. They also noted that the SkyTrain project would include a safe active transportation corridor along the SkyTrain extension from King George to 203rd Street in Langley City. One of the trickiest areas to construct SkyTrain will be the Serpentine River Valley, where it will cross Highway 15. They have been doing geotechnical work and will drive some SkyTrain guideway columns up to 100 meters into the ground in the valley.

Later in the meeting, Council gave final reading to a rezoning bylaw and issued a development permit for a 113-unit apartment project at 20040-20070 53A Ave & 20041-20071 53 Ave. You can read more about this project in a previous post.

Council also adopted a new policy on using the City’s Corporate Identity & Brand. The new policy requires people to seek approval before using the City’s logo, Coat of Arms, and other brand assets.

With the Township leaving the former joint Langley Emergency Program, the City will now be setting up its own program. Council approved Langley City Fire Rescue Service to apply for a $29,864.94 grant from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund to help offset the cost of setting up the Langley City Emergency Program.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book: Langley City, Social Housing, and Families

The Metro Vancouver Regional District collects a large number of statistics on housing in our region and presents them in their “Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book.” The regional district recently updated the statistics in the data book, including the latest census and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data. Regional district staff presented some highlights at the most recent Regional Planning Committee Meeting.

The first table shows where there has been an increase in the population of children. While it isn’t surprising to see the Township of Langley, Surrey, and Maple Ridge with large increases, Langley City, New Westminster, and the City of North Vancouver have also seen a large increase in children. There seems to be a demand for more affordable walkable and transit-accessible communities for people with young families.

Change in children by Metro Vancouver jurisdictions between 2016 and 2021. Select the table to enlarge.

The following map shows the percentage of new construction over the five years that is purpose-built rental units. In the South of Fraser, Langley City is the leader in the percentage of rental new construction.

The growth or decline in the primary rental market as a percentage of net new dwellings between 2016 and 2021 (net new purpose-built market rental apartments and townhouses.) Select the map to enlarge.

The next map shows the percentage of social housing units compared to total housing units by municipality. Social housing units are funded by BC Housing and include rent-geared-to-income and deeply subsidized housing for lower-income people. One of the largest social housing complexes in Metro Vancouver is the Langley Lions Housing apartments in Downtown Langley. Langley City has the second-largest percentage of social housing in Metro Vancouver.

Total social housing units as a percentage of total housing units in 2022. Select the map to enlarge.

For more statistics, please check out the latest edition of the “Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Mitigating the Impacts of E-commerce on Cities

When we order things online, we can sometimes forget the significant physical infrastructure required to get what we’ve ordered to our homes or places of business.

An industrial area

In Langley and Surrey, there are large warehouse operations to fulfill items ordered online. These large warehouses use industrial land (as they should) and require investment in transit service to get employees to and from work. Some of our region’s busy transit routes serve these industrial areas.

There are also delivery vehicles whose drivers sometimes double park, and block bike lanes and driveways to meet tight delivery deadlines.

The following graphic shows how e-commerce has grown in Canada. Yes, there has been a dip since the height of lockdowns, but the longer trend is slow and steady growth. This trend means we must look at how we can adapt our city policies to account for e-commerce while reducing the negative impacts of e-commerce.

Canadian e-commerce sales. Select the graph to enlarge.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District commissions a study called “Impacts of E-commerce on Industrial Lands and Transportation Systems.” The study’s authors made the following policy recommendations.

Curb-management policies: An important first step is to create up-to-date, citywide inventories of loading zones, curbs and congestion points. Improved data and monitoring will better inform strategies for curbside space usage.
Designated delivery areas: Introducing curbside delivery areas adjacent to apartment buildings would help mitigate parking flow interruptions and double parking. These areas should be location-specific and context appropriate, rather than applied as a blanket solution.
Micro-distribution hubs: The integration of small local hubs should be incorporated into a variety of developments, including high-density commercial, residential, and transit-oriented communities.
Flexible zoning: Implementing more flexible zoning would allow cites to respond better to emerging trends, while still retaining the primary intended use of the lands.
Population proximity: Aligning anticipated population growth and opportunities for sustainable distribution methods are crucial considerations to better support changing business needs.
Alternative land uses: Opportunities that introduce industrial uses, such as urban logistics, into commercial areas, especially where these uses can offer dense employment opportunities connected with transit, should be explored. In some cases, traditional brick-and-mortar retail shops that have closed could house multiple stages of the e-commerce supply chain, including processing in-store pick-ups and online returns, without compromising neighbourhood vibrancy.

You can read the full report in the February 10th Regional Planning Committee agenda.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Learn about BC Black History this February

City of Colour: Rediscovering Stories of Victoria’s Multicultural Past.”

February is Black History Month. My public education occurred in the 1990s. 1990s curriculum about local history was limited and focused on how the British and others from Europeans ended up in British Columbia. I’ve learned more about our province’s nuanced and colourful history as an adult, and there is a lot of that history.

One book that I’ve read recently is May Q. Wong’s “City of Colour: Rediscovering Stories of Victoria’s Multicultural Past.”

In the chapter “Victoria’s Colourful Policing History,” Wong tells the story of the Victoria Pioneer Rifles, an all-Black militia that operated from 1859 to 1864. The group was the only line of defence from the gold-rushed crazed Americans at the time.

Wong also tells the story of Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, a businessman who, in 1866, because the first Black person elected in British Columbia, serving two terms on Victoria city council.

“City of Colour” is a must-read if you are interested in our province’s history.

Knowing about BC’s diverse history is essential because it shows that settlers from many different parts of the world have contributed to this place. It is important that people can see themselves in our history. It helps people feel strongly connected to our shared history and the right to belong. It has certainly been important for me as a biracial Black person. I no longer feel like an outsider.

Another great resource to learn about Black BC history is the BC Black History Awareness Society website.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

January 30th Council Notes: Family Doctors, Segways, and Committees & Task Groups

Last week, I posted about Langley City Council’s proposed 2023 budget, which Council gave first and second reading at its January 30th meeting. Today, I will post about the rest of that Council meeting.

Council heard from a resident concerned that he couldn’t use his Segway in City parks and on trails. After the meeting, City staff confirmed that Segways are permitted in parks and on trails.

Council then heard from the Langley Division of Family Practice. The Division supports and advocates on behalf of physicians and nurse practitioners. Their main goals are to connect people with family doctors, recruit and retain physicians and nurse practitioners in Langley, and provide support and education to physicians and nurse practitioners in our community.

The Division noted in their presentation that there are 38 physicians in Langley City. In both Langley City and Township, they said that 6,800 people do not have a family doctor. The Division’s top concerns for Langley are mental illness, substance use, isolation, chronic disease, and poverty. These reasons are why the Division is setting up primary care networks to help connect people with family doctors to get people the help they need.

The following slide from their presentation shows how this network will work at a high level. This plan will require more resources. The Division wants to recruit 21 new family doctors and 12 new nurse practitioners to Langley. They also want to improve after-hours care for patients, so they don’t end up in emergency because that is the only option available.

Primary Care Network Overview. Select the image to enlarge.

Later in the meeting, Council gave final reading to an updated Records Management bylaws, which I previously posted.

Langley City has various committees and task groups where community members can volunteer their time and knowledge. Council appointed people to these committees and task groups for 2023. You can read who Council appointed on Langley City’s website.

Friday, February 3, 2023

A Deeper Dive into Langley City’s Proposed 2023 Budget: One-time capital projects

Today, I will be finishing off my series on the proposed 2023 budget for Langley City. In two previous posts, you can learn about the overall budget and a more in-depth look at ongoing operating costs.

Langley City funds its one-time capital projects with money from property tax, developer fees, casino revenue, and funding from TransLink, the provinces, and the feds.

The money the City collects from property taxes, developers, and the casino is put into reserve accounts, which act as savings accounts to help fund capital projects. The City will set aside money over several years in these reserves for larger projects.

The following table shows the current, high-level state of the City's reserve accounts at the end of December 2022.

Type Amount
Developer Contribution Reserves $40.0m
Casino Revenue Reserves $6.5m
Other Reserves $12.6m

This year, the City is planning to invest $46.9 million in capital projects. The City will fund these capital projects with $15 million from a loan, $13.1 million from casino revenue, $12.2 million from property tax and user-fee funded reserves, $4.5 million from grants from the feds, province, and TransLink, and $2.1 million from developer fees.

The most significant capital projects include investing:

  • $12.9 million to replace some of the oldest water, sewage, and drainage pipes in the City under the Fraser Highway one-way section between 204 St. and 206 St. This project also includes improved sidewalks, underground hydro lines, and greening of the downtown with replanted street trees. The project will be $18.2 million in total, with additional funding proposed in the 2024 budget.
  • $15 million to purchase strategic property and fund SkyTrain-related improvements to maximize this once-in-a-generation opportunity for residents and businesses.
  • $4.0 million to keep the sewer and drainage system in a state of good repair.
  • $3.0 million to keep the water system in a state of good repair.
  • $2.6 million to repave various roads.
  • $1.7 million to build safe bike lanes on the south side of Michaud Crescent. TransLink would fund $1 million, and developer fees would fund $700,000 of this project.
  • $1.5 million for improvements in various parks and the trail network
  • $1.1 million to replace various end-of-life traffic lights.
  • $769,000 to keep the rec centres and pool in a state of good repair.

For more information, please review the proposed capital budget starting on page 128 of the Langley City 2023 – 2027 Financial Plan.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

A Deeper Dive into Langley City’s Proposed 2023 Budget: On-going Operating Budget

Yesterday, I posted about the overall proposed Langley City 2023 budget and how it will impact property taxes and user fees residential and business property owners may pay to the City this year.

Today, I wanted to share what items impact taxes and user fees in the City based on the priorities that Council has set.

I encourage you to read my previous post, which provides the needed background information for today’s post.

Maintain Current Service Levels (Inflation)
  • Employee wages and benefits – collective agreements: $1,226,070
  • RCMP contract and detachment costs: $521,515
  • Fire training, maintenance supplies, dispatch costs: $168,340
  • Bank charges and tax prepayment interest: $168,250
  • Various supplies and contracted services: $117,735
  • Discover Langley City – tourism marketing: $80,000
  • Solid waste services: $42,040
  • FVRL – library services: $68,015
  • Long-term debt servicing $65,835
  • IT security and software support: $43,500
  • Financial audit fees: $29,000
  • Council remuneration, travel and benefits: $25,685
Preparing for SkyTrain
  • $15m (new debt servicing costs): $1,278,930
Investing in the Basics
  • Additional transfer to capital projects reserves for infrastructure renewal: $333,650
Enhancing Public Safety
  • Hire 2 Firefighters / Public Safety Personnel: $523,820
Addressing Poverty, Health and Homelessness
  • Social Planning Services: $180,930
Other Service Improvements
  • Urban Forest Maintenance & Watering: $140,000
  • Recreation (Supporting children & aquatics programs): $141,665
  • Enhance Community Events: $39,900
  • Maintain Downtown Summer and Winter Displays in Downtown, McBurney Plaza and Douglas Park: $35,000
  • Community Newsletters – Increase Government Transparency: $25,000
  • Other Service Level Increments: $98,880

I should note “Maintain Current Service Levels” are offset by about $1.9 million in additional revenue the City is budgeting to receive this year as a result of redevelopment, investments, and fees (that aren’t collected on your property tax bill.)