Ladysmith sewer parcel tax increasing

The sewer parcel tax in Ladysmith could increase by $115 to accommodate upgrades to secondary treatment.

Ladysmith council will give out $110,950 in grants-in-aid to a variety of community groups in 2012.

Council revisited the town’s grants-in-aid requests last Monday and agreed to grants totalling almost $13,000 more than last year.

Some of the groups receiving funding from the town include the Ladysmith and District Historical Society, the Ladysmith Festival of Lights, the Ladysmith Maritime Society Festival, the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association, the Arts Council of Ladysmith and District, Ladysmith Citizens on Patrol, the Central Vancouver Island Crisis Society, the Ladysmith Ambassador Committee and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

During last week’s meeting, council wrestled with the idea of giving the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 171 $5,000 for a new stair lift.

After learning that the Legion had received a $10,000 grant from The Legion Foundation, council finally decided to award $3,000 to the Legion.

“I was a little concerned about the level of this because it’s not a government building,” said Mayor Rob Hutchins. “I mean, we have an arts council that we’re looking at giving a three-year lease to so they can raise some money for an elevator in our building, and we’re not giving them any money for an elevator in our building.”

Council originally agreed to 50 per cent of the $10,000 the Legion had requested, so Hutchins said he wasn’t sure why council would be continuing at 100 per cent.

Hutchins also said the town has a bit of a challenge with the new Community Services Centre on High Street, as the original design called for a Plexiglas cover over the west side for scooter parking, but that ended up being taken out of the design. He wanted to see council put some money toward that project.

After some debate, council decided that instead of giving the Legion a $5,000 grant-in-aid, it would provide the Legion with $3,000 and put the other $2,000 aside in a reserve for other considerations, such as the scooter parking cover project at the Community Services Centre.

Coun. Gord Horth noted that council is increasing its grants-in-aid funding by about 13 per cent and aiding a variety of groups, while keeping the town’s overall tax increase at 2.58 per cent.

During the same meeting, council gave the town’s water parcel tax bylaw first, second and third reading.

The bylaw sets the water parcel tax rates for 2012, and those rates are unchanged from last year at $100.

Council also gave the town’s sewer parcel tax bylaw first, second and third reading.

This bylaw sets the sewer parcel tax rates for 2012 and shows an increase of $115 to $269, and Hutchins explained that the increase is meant to accommodate the significant expansion to the town’s  Waste Water Treatment Plant to upgrade from primary treatment to secondary treatment.

There was no discussion about the water or sewer parcel tax rate bylaws, and the bylaws will come up once more for a fourth reading.

The town’s full financial plan and accompanying bylaws must be adopted by May 15.