Budget for 2015-16
On Nov. 3, 2014, the Vancouver City Council approved the operations and capital budget for 2015-16.
Thanks to the progressive financial policies set by City Council in 2012, ongoing efforts by staff and management to seek out efficiencies and a slowly improving economy, the City is entering the new biennium in a stronger financial position than it has been in for almost a decade.
The approved budget will fund all core City services at existing levels. In addition, the current forecast shows the City will have $3.2 million in one-time funding available in 2015-16. The budget stipulates that this funding be used to support the City's key initiatives of 1) Firm our foundation; 2) Invest in critical infrastructure; 3) Innovation for the future; and 4) Leadership and staff development. Examples of some of these projects that are included in the 2015-16 budget include:
- Replace and relocate the City's two oldest fire stations to ensure seismic stability and improve response times to the highest call volume area along the Fourth Plain Corridor.
- Add the 30 public safety positions now funded solely by grants back into the City's baseline staffing.
- Staff the Vancouver Police Department's East Precinct so the public can once again come in person to the station to make crime reports.
- Provide additional funding for street median and shoulder maintenance.
This budget rests on the following assumptions:
- Council approves the statutorily authorized 1% property tax increase for both 2015 and 2016.
- The City adjusts all utility rates for inflation and fund depreciation by an aggregate total of 2.5% per year.
- The City optimizes fees associated with fee-for-service operations (such as parking, parks and recreation, building, etc.).
- The City optimizes the use of dedicated funds to sustain core services.
- The City accrues no new debt without new supporting revenue.