The next two years will see about 250 new units of housing built in Nelson, and that’s why the revenue side of the city’s ledger is looking good these days, according to the city’s finance manager, Colin McClure.
The downside is that it puts a strain on the city’s planning department staff and sometimes permits are delayed as a result, he said. That creates increased staffing expenses to keep up with the demand.
“We are a booming community and we see that in our fees and on the demand in development services.”
McClure’s presentation materials include a full outline of revenue and expenses, as well as the capital budget, for this year and last, with explanatory notes, attached below.
Another positive revenue story, he said, is an uptick in transit use.
“Last year we lowered the barrier and made one $2 fee from Balfour to Trail. We are seeing this difference in rider numbers and sales of passes.”
One challenge on the expense side is that the snow removal budget has already been used up this year.
McClure said funding for November and December snow plowing will come from other projects that are under budget and from the increased building development revenues.
McClure also cited increased labour-relations legal costs related to the fire department arbitration case that was concluded this year.
The city has almost $20 million in capital expenses budgeted for 2018 (as opposed to $18 million last year), partly because of the Hall Street project, McClure said, adding that the Hall Street work has been funded through grants from senior governments and from the city’s water and sewer reserve funds.
McClure’s description of capital budget activities includes new bylaw enforcement software, engineering work on the library and police building, Cottonwood Falls redevelopment work, the relining of 3.8 kilometres of sewer line, completion of the emergency water source intake in Kootenay Lake, new outdoor exercise equipment in Lakeside Park, and a variety of other public works and utility upgrades and construction.