Nelson creates pandemic budget plan and stimulus package

Nelson creates pandemic budget plan and stimulus package

City hall is responding to large decreases in revenue

Nelson’s finance manager expects an $830,000 reduction in revenue for the city this year because of the effects of COVID-19.

That money would have normally come from such things as parking fines and meters, parkade revenue, downtown patio rentals, sports field fees, the city campground, youth centre camps, investment income, and transit fees.

In response, the city has come up with a financial stability plan intended to balance the 2020 budget and help citizens cope with the pandemic.

Highlights of the plan include:

• No property tax increase for 2020

• No fee increase for Nelson Hydro for 2020

• No increase in Nelson Hydro dividend to the city

• No wage increases for 2020 – except those governed by existing labour contracts, and through negotiations with unionized employees whose contracts have expired

• A general hiring freeze except replacement of critical positions or when there are grants to fund the position

• Minimized travel, training, legal fees and other discretionary costs

• Reduced dental and extended health premiums by $40,000 per month, negotiated with benefits carrier

• Allowance of $100,000 for recovery and/or wildfire response activities

• A request to the provincial government to fund the operating shortfall for transit

• A request to all organizations that receive grants from the city and/or lease city facilities to first find other grant support before requesting support from the city

• Deferral of funding to reserves unless this would have a significant negative impact on the city’s future sustainability.

“It is very challenging to project our revenues with all the uncertainty on the duration and extent of restrictions,” chief financial officer Colin McClure said. “This financial plan is built on a most likely scenario and maintains the city’s financial capacity to respond to the impact of a longer pandemic shutdown and the resulting economic fallout.”

In addition, the city expects to have to draw up to $530,000 from various reserve funds to balance the 2020 budget. Reserves are accounts that the city funds each year and holds for specific future projects or emergencies.

Mayor John Dooley said it is no accident that the city is able to balance its budget despite hard times.

“The city has been on a very solid footing for the past 15 years or so and that did not happen by good luck or anything else,” he said. “That was good planning and thoughtful process.”

Economic stimulus plan

The plan also includes economic stimulus measures for city residents and businesses, the details of which the city will release later this week, perhaps before the print edition of this article appears.

The city has been meeting with members of the business community recently to brainstorm this.

“Initial feedback from our business outreach project has been well received and has identified where our community needs additional support,” Dooley said.

“While we have limited financial capacity to directly support our community, we believe we have found some creative ways to help out and stimulate the economy.”

Dooley said senior city staff are now meeting weekly to monitor the city’s finances in light of the pandemic.

Related:

Nelson council commits to 0% tax increase for 2020

RDCK cuts proposed 2020 tax increase by half



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

budgetCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Nelson Police responded to 802 calls last year they say had an element of mental health. File photo
Nelson Police: 802 mental-health related calls in 2020

That accounts for 12 per cent of total calls for service

Several large trees came down in the recent windstorm and destroyed a part of the building that houses Camp Koolaree’s showers and boy’s washroom. The camp has served generations of Kootenay families since 1931 as the Nelson area’s longest running children’s summer camp. Photo: Submitted
Camp Koolaree’s wash house destroyed by January windstorms

The camp is in need of donations to make repairs

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read