Stronger RCMP and Fire-Rescue key focus of Richmond’s proposed 2021 budget
By CFF StaffHeadlines News
Feb. 1, 2021, Richmond, B.C. — More police officers and firefighters are key to the City of Richmond’s proposed 2021 operating budget approved by council on Jan. 25, a move intended to reinforce the City’s continued commitment to make Richmond a safe and resilient community.
Council approved 39 new positions as part of its “Safe Community Program” in the form of 16 RCMP Officers, 11 municipal employees in the Richmond detachment, and 12 firefighters. These positions fulfill council’s commitment to add 51 RCMP Officers, 20 municipal employees to support the detachment and 36 firefighters to the City over three years.
These new resources, along with ongoing funding support for amenities including two developer-funded child care facilities and a number of capital infrastructure enhancements, will result in a property tax increase of 5.68 per cent in 2021 – around $99 more per residence (or 27 cents per day) based on the 2020 average residential assessed value of $996,000.
The proposed budget encompasses operating resources for the community safety initiatives that were deferred in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as estimated operating budget impacts for approved capital projects such as the Neighbourhood Walkway Program, Steveston Highway Multi-Use Pathway, the London Steveston Park, and Flood Protection and Dike Improvements program.
The budget includes the utilization of reserves to mitigate the increase and a one per cent investment towards funding the capital costs incurred for the maintenance and replacement of facilities such as the Steveston Community Centre and Branch Library.
In accordance with the Community Charter, the City will undertake a process of public consultation on the proposed Consolidated 5 Year Financial Plan (2020-2024) commencing in early-February 2021.
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