Williams Lake city council, November 2022. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake city council, November 2022. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake overall budget for 2023 $45.9 million, down $1 million from 2022

‘This is a balanced budget that reflects a reduction in capital expenditures,’ said city’s CFO

Williams Lake’s chief financial officer said the city will have a balanced budget in 2023 that reflects a reduction in capital expenditure.

While the operational budget increased from $27 million to $29 million to maintain core and current service levels, the overall budget was reduced to $45.9 million, a decrease from $46.9 million in 2022, Vitali Kozubenko said in a city news release Thursday.

His statement comes the day after council gave three readings to the 2023-2027 financial plan and the 2023 tax rate bylaw during a special meeting Wednesday, April 19. The two bylaws will go to the May 2 regular council meeting for final adoption.

The tax rate bylaw lowered the municipal property tax mill rate by four per cent.

READ MORE: Williams Lake city council gives three readings to 6.6 per cent overall tax increase

Based on variations from BC Assessment, Kozubenko noted taxpayers will see an overall average 6.6 per cent municipal tax increase across all property classes (down from nine per cent overall in 2022).

The residential sector will see an increase of 11.8 per cent (down from a 12.8 per cent increase 2022).

For the average home assessment in Williams Lake of $367,000, there will be a $195 increase in municipal property tax per year.

The residential property class accounts for 46.2 per cent of tax revenue.

The total assessment of all property in Williams Lake for 2023 is $1,834,032,273.

Property taxes account for 53 per cent of the city’s general revenue, followed by service fees and charges (23 per cent), grants (16 per cent), transfers from own reserves (4 per cent) and transfers from other city funds (4 per cent).

Highlights cited in the news release from the $15,776,616 capital budget include:

– General capital projects total $7,874,528 including annual paving rehab and saddle replacement ($1,535,000), street light LED upgrade ($116,000), Wildfire Risk Reduction Fuel Treatment within Williams Lake ($349,093) and a new RC Cotton Boat Launch ($120,000)

– Airport capital projects total $1,851,506 including updating the Airport Utility Master Plan ($125,000) and

security gate upgrades ($60,000)

– Water capital projects total $2,836,053 including Well #6 replacement ($1,961,870), sanitary bio-solid removal

($398,820) and Wastewater Treatment Plant and Lagoons Assessment ($150,000)

Mayor Surinderpal Rathor said he was pleased with the democratic, transparent process and discussion that took place this week during the regular council meeting on April 18.

“I would like to thank members of the public who took time to attend the meetings and to share their input with council,” Rathor said. “We have a responsible and proactive plan, which positions the city to be in good financial shape in the future. After much consideration, council decided to defer as few projects as possible in order to carry out critical infrastructure work, which mitigates rising costs of these essential projects.”

Rathor also thanked city staff for their diligent work on the budget and financial plan, as well as fellow council members for their valued input.

READ MORE: Williams Lake council votes to remove $700,000 from capital projects to help reduce taxation

READ MORE: Williams Lake city council debates mill rate as budget talks continue


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