SURREY City Council approved the 2015 budget at Monday night’s Council meeting. Recreation, culture and public safety are key priorities that feature prominently in the budget.
The financial plan calls for a number of the development and improvements for Recreation and Culture facilities. The total cost of the projects proposed for the City is valued at $205 million. Here are a few of the major recreation and culture capital projects to be undertaken over the next five years:
* New recreation and cultural facility in Clayton
* The building of the second phase of the Surrey Museum
* Four new ice sheets for Surrey
* Renovations to City Centre Artist Space
To help fund these projects a new flat $100 Recreation and Culture Parcel Tax has been implemented. The R&C Parcel Tax will generate approximately $16 million per year towards new capital initiatives in Surrey.
The budget also makes provision for the hiring of an additional 100 RCMP officers to bring the total to 803 officers in Surrey. Provisions have also been made to increase municipal support staff for the RCMP.
“As the second largest city in British Columbia, and with one-third of our population under the age of 19, investing in infrastructure for our youth is a top priority,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “The hiring of additional RCMP officers will bring us in line with the recommendations of two independent research projects while still maintaining the lowest taxes per capita and spending in the region.”
Since 2007, Council has held the line on property tax increases to 2.9% per annum and that trend continues for the 2015 budget. For the average single family residence this amounts to an increase of $46.20.
“The 2015 Budget addresses many important priorities for Surrey,” said Councillor Tom Gill. “By investing back into our community with additional police officers, new recreational and cultural centres and keeping the lowest taxes per capita, we are making this a better city for all who live and work in Surrey.”