Monday, January 29, 2024

January 22 Council Notes: Budget, Housing, Living Wage Policies, and E-Comm 911 Board Change

Last Monday, Langley City Council gave first and second reading to the proposed 2024 budget. In previous posts, you can read about the overall budget, projects, and why property tax rates are constantly increasing. You can also visit Langley City's website for more information about the budget and how you can provide feedback to Council on the budget.

At the same meeting, Council gave third reading for a 6-storey, 136-unit apartment project at 20619 & 20629 Eastleigh Crescent and a 14-unit townhouse complex at 4503 & 4513 200 Street. Council will consider final reading and approve the issuing of the development permit once City staff and the applicant have completed all the technical requirements for the project and paid all fees and contributions.

Later in the meeting, staff proposed an update to Langley City's Living Wage Policy for City Employees and Contractors. A living wage is the income requirement for a family to afford to live. In Metro Vancouver, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calculates the annual living wage. In 2023, the living wage was $25.68/hour. City staff proposed changing the policy from being set annually to a rolling five-year average. After a brief debate, the majority of Council decided to keep the existing policy with no changes.

Langley City shares a seat on the E-Comm Board with Surrey, White Rock, and the Township of Langley. E-Comm provides the 911 call answer service in BC, maintains the first responders' communication network in parts of BC, and provides fire and police dispatch services in some communities. Langley City uses the communication network. The board seat rotates among the four municipalities. All four municipalities must agree to the person who sits on the board, though it is more a matter of formality. The seat is currently with the Township of Langley between 2023 and 2027. Last year, Township Council recommended Councillor Barb Martens. Langley City Council received notice that Township Council now recommends Councillor Tim Baillie for the E-Comm board. Langley City Council approved this change.

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