Friday, February 24, 2023 – The first in a series of 2023 service-level budget discussions began on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 and resulted in the following recommendations:
- THAT Council direct staff to approve the inclusion of two (2) new (police) officers in the 2024 budget, two (2) new officers in the 2025 budget, and one (1) in the 2026 budget, of the 2023-2027 Five Year Financial Plan.
- THAT Council direct staff to bring forward to Council an amended Future Police Costs Reserve Bylaw No. 653 that includes an update to section 4(a) that requires Traffic Fine Revenue to be deposited into the reserve fund with no expiry date.
- THAT Council endorse the implementation of the firefighter staffing recommendations for the Fire Master Plan and approve a four-year staffing strategy for inclusion in the 2023-2027 Five Year Financial Plan.
- THAT Council approve the funding of $27,000 to leverage the $135,000 in funding through the Provincial Local Government Climate Action Program Funding and that the funding be used to hire a Climate Action Coordinator.
- These recommendations will be presented to Council on Monday, February 27, 2023.
- On Friday, March 17 and Monday, March 21, 2023 service-level discussions for remaining District operations will continue. Potential capital projects will also be discussed.
- Tentative date (Monday, April 10, 2023): Council to consider first, second and third reading of Budget 2023
- Tentative date (Tuesday, April 18, 2023): Community Budget Open House
- Tentative date (Monday, April 24, 2023): Council to consider fourth reading (adoption of Bylaw) following Budget Open House
What happens after the budget is approved?
- Director of Finance will receive third-party tax rate information from agencies such as the provincial government (Provincial School Tax), Capital Regional District, etc.
- Director of Finance will present the Tax Rate Bylaw to Council at a public meeting.
- May 2023: Tax Rate Bylaw Adopted
- Late May 2023: Property Tax Notices issued
- Budget 2023 Update: Citizen Budget Survey – What We Heard Report Now Available (sooke.ca)
- Presentation from Sooke RCMP Detachment Staff Sargent Kevin Shaw
- Presentation from District of Sooke Fire Chief, Ted Ruiter
- Presentation and Discussion on Climate Action Next Steps