That’s some draft budget for Surrey.
Some folks – particularly arts and recreation enthusiasts, sports parents, and people who like to read books – might liken it more to a windstorm.
Directly in its path are the Cloverdale Sport and Ice Complex, Grandview Heights Community Centre and Library, expansion of the Fleetwood Community Centre and Library, and land acquisition for a performing arts theatre in the City Centre. These are some items to be postponed under this plan, which city staff unveiled on Monday.
During the election campaign, much was said about public safety and the need to improve extra-curricular programs for young people in an effort to steer them away from crime and, in particular, gang involvement. Postponing arts and recreation projects such as the aforementioned will not help achieve this laudable goal.
It gets better. Exactly one month after forming government, this council is now proposing a property tax increase that will add roughly $59 to the average household’s bill, on top of increases in water and sewer and waste collection rates. The total bill, all told, adds up to a tax increase of $128.21 in 2019 for each average single-family home, if this financial plan is approved.
Remember, this five-year draft financial plan is not yet set in stone. A public meeting to consider it is set for Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. in council chambers, before the finance committee.
Moreover, according to the city’s website, written comments will be considered up until 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17. Written comments can be sent to: Chair, Finance Committee, City of Surrey 13450-104 Avenue, Surrey, BC V3T 1VB (Email: email@example.com; fax: 604-501-7578).
So, for people who have something to say about this plan, now is your chance to say it before a final version is done and a final vote is cast.
As they say, silence betokens consent.