What information can council and staff provide that explains and justifies supporting the creation of a conservation fund by the RDOS that will cost the citizens and businesses of Penticton almost $200,000 per year? Why wasn't the proposed RDOS Bylaw 2690 given more council attention when the city needs that money to fund infrastructure?
This topic was discussed at Council twice in the open meeting where they discussed the merits of creating a conservation fund for Penticton or along with the RDOS. Penticton does have some high profile projects that require attention such as the oxbows and Penticton Creek. Penticton Creek has concrete banks that have cracks and are being compromised. The estimated price tag for the entire creek in City boundaries is $8 million. Restoring the creek bed is something that needs to be addressed to mitigate potential flood or bank instability let alone provincial requirements.
Council felt they could leverage more funds from other levels of government and NGOs (non government organizations) if Penticton partnered with the RDOS. There is a technical committee to vet and prioritize projects and the RDOS board would then endorse. Penticton does have a weighted vote proportional to the amount of money the City contributes.
The conservation fund is a program for 5 years and each year the board confirms the level of contribution (the maximum is $450 thousand for the region which equates to approx $10 per average household).
What assurances do Penticton's residential utility customers have that the shift in utility charges from commercial to residential will not be used as a cash grab to fund infrastructure?
Dividends from utilities are not a cash grab but an important source of funding for capital projects. Here is some additional information about how it works.
The utility rates, water, sanitary sewer and electrical were developed by the InterGroup consultants. The InterGroup worked with a working group representing some of the key stakeholders and received public comment at open houses during the development of the Utility Rates. The final report was completed November of 2015 with revisions to Sanitary Sewer Rates completed again by the InterGroup in 2016. The Utility rates set by the final report are five year rates which will be reviewed in 2018.
The work done by the InterGroup determined that residential customers were generally underpaying for electricity and water and overpaying for sanitary sewer. This was adjusted for in the rates over a five year period.
The City does receive a dividend from the electric utility that is used to fund capital projects. Typically this has been in the range of $3,00,000 per year. The work completed by the InterGroup sees this changing to more of an electrical industry standard of a 7% of the value of electrical capital assets.
The City will continue to receive a dividend from the electric utility to fund capital projects and this will be based on the dollar value of electrical capital assets. The rate review addressed the fact that residential electrical customers were underpaying for electricity. So that will mean residential customers will be making a larger contribution to the electrical dividend which funds capital.
Can you provide more detailed data on the costs presented at the Chamber session?
Penticton Infrastructure Challenge
1 Water $44,000,000
2 Sewer $45,000,000
3 Electrical $11,000,000
4.1 Parks $18,000,000
4.2 Roads $32,000,000
4.3 Buildings $27,000,000
You may recall that I am a fan of "Local Area Levies", but also a fan of the general tax base paying for community wide benefits. I would like to analyze the projects and see what $ fit into each category.
Hi there, That information is already posted in the Documents area. Check out the panels from the open house. There is a draft of the capital projects and estimated costs that have been identified as needing investment.
Where are all the answers to the 50+/- questions that were included in the Nov 1 2016 council report?
We are in the midst of answering the questions and have set up a section on Shape Your City Penticton called Let's Talk to provide a central area to publish the responses. With a central location created, it will be easier to continuously add answers as they come in. We are in the early stages of getting organized and only have several questions published at this time. We have provided the list of questions we are working through. Thanks so much.
Your video does not work on my computer, I don't know why.
In what way do you think a national infrastructure improvement loan fund, backed by foreign investors, would be a benefit to expediting the improvements required? Do you think the BC Municipal Finance Authority already performs this function? Would this initiative by the Federal government enhance the BC MFA, or compete with it?
As a result of your question, we have looked into this opportunity and prepared the following response.
The Canadian Infrastructure Bank
(CIB) if it proceeds forward will provide a low cost alternative for borrowing
by municipalities. Two specific province’s BC and Ontario presently have
provincial agencies such as Municipal Financial Authority of BC (MFABC), so the
benefits may not be as pronounced in these provinces.
Through the MFABC the City is able to
secure very attractive rates and terms, however based on the national post
article it appears that CIB may be able to offer rates that are about 1% lower than
what MFABC currently offers. Given the City’s current debt of about $40M, this
would translate to about $400k in interest rate savings.
Presently all municipalities in BC
must borrow through MFABC as required through the Community Charter ( Provincial
Legislation). The province would need to amend the Community Charter to enable
municipalities to borrow from CIB and depending on how exactly this is
structured will determine whether CIB would be in competition or compliment
Sorry to hear that the video did not work for you. Let us know if you would like to try a different format.
With regard to the October 4, 2016 council presentation why is the infrastructure funding gap only expressed on a per household basis?
From the presentation I got the impression that residential taxpayers were being conditioned to accept even more responsibility than they should.
Aren't businesses a part of the solution too? My understanding is there are about 15,500 residences and about 1,500 business.
Thank you for your question. We are looking for feedback from
the entire community on how to address the deficit and both residents and
businesses will be part of the solution. If the community supports a tax
increase, for example, both residential and business taxpayers would be
affected as the increase would be calculated at the total value of taxes
required and allocated back to each type of taxpayer. Today, businesses pay
1.58 times what a resident pays based on every $1000 in assessed value.
We provided a figure of Total Replacement Value of
infrastructure per household ($70,000) as part of the Council Report
simply to help residents make the connection between the City's infrastructure
and the services they rely on and enjoy.
When will the wheelchair access be built for the Leir House?
The City owns the Leir House but the maintenance and operation is the responsibility of the Arts Council who lease the facility for $1 per year. The City does step in to help when safety is an issue. For example, next week some minor repairs are planned to make the steps safer. The Leir house is an example of a building owned by the City that continues to operate past its service life. The City's cost to own Leir House far exceeds the revenue from the facility and the investment needed by the Arts Council to make the 100-year-old building accessible will be significant. Whether or not to invest in expensive but unique buildings is a good example of the type of input we need to determine how to address our infrastructure deficit.