City council briefs
Land Conservancy gets tax exemption
An undeveloped grassland is one of four properties gaining permissive-tax exemption from the City of Kamloops for a three-year period, beginning in 2013.
The city normally requires non-profit groups to own and occupy the land in order to get an exemption, but revenue and taxation manager Marlie Worrin said that policy is in place to prevent tax breaks from going to land intended for resale.
In the case of 501 Todd Rd., the lot is held by The Land Conservancy of B.C., which acquires land of ecological, cultural or recreational value in order to protect it.
City council also agreed to grant exemptions to the Kamloops Cariboo Regional Immigrant Society for its Tranquille Road building, the Canadian Mental Health Association for its property at 207 Victoria St. and the Kamloops Elks Lodge No. 44 for the administration and meeting spaces in its 784B Victoria St. space.
City roads getting million-dollar facelift
Sections of Summit Avenue, Victoria Street and two other Kamloops roads are headed to rehab as city council has agreed to award a roadwork contract for more than $1.4 million to BA Dawson Blacktop Ltd.
The contract covers surface milling and repaving, as well as some utility repairs, on Summit Avenue between Columbia Street and Springhill Drive, on Victoria Street from First to Fifth avenues, on Oriole Road from Frontage Road to Valleyview Drive and on Nicola Street from Fifth to Sixth avenues.
Council seeks cost-saving measures in advance of budget talks
They won’t hold themselves to a flat tax rate, but Kamloops city council has agreed to hold a workshop to look for cost-saving measures in advance of preparing the 2013 budget.
The motion came from Coun. Arjun Singh, who had originally proposed a workshop to look at how the city could keep next year’s tax increase at zero per cent.
However, Mayor Peter Milobar suggested council not start with a specific number in mind, to keep staff from getting caught up trying to hit a certain target.
Coun. Nancy Bepple said the city needs to look at what money it has set aside for future instrastructure projects and other long-term concerns.
“It may be that we’re not putting enough money away,” she said. “So, we can go into this workshop and look for ways to find cost savings, but we have to be realistic.”
That was fine with Singh.
“I’m not stuck on zero,” he said. “I just want to have some sort of discussion about these issues.”
Kamloops wants Ottawa to ensure long-term plan
Kamloops council has signed on to a Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ campaign to make sure federal funding for infrastructure projects is in line with what communities actually need.
Council passed a resolution this week, calling on the federal government to ensure a long-term plan for funding road, water, sewer and drainage improvements is in place when the Building Canada Plan expires in 2014.