While road surface maintenance and the planting of fruit trees in Burns Lake received extra funding this year, replacement of sidewalks and sewer lift station upgrades were postponed until next year.
These were some of the 2018 budget amendments council made last week during a special budget meeting.
Council added $3,534 to the 2018 budget to purchase fruit trees, to be funded by a grant from Tree Canada Foundation and BC Hydro. When asked where these trees have been planted, Burns Lake Mayor Chris Beach said “browns and greens” sites.
Responding to worries that apples might attract bears, earlier this year Beach defended the planting of apple trees and grass at the village’s water tower site, saying there’ll be less maintenance at the location required as a result.
Council has added $160,000 to the 2018 budget for emergency repairs and upgrades to the Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena’s roof. According to Beach, the arena roof leaked through the ceiling after excess snow and ice build up last year.
Council also approved a $4,000 increase to the 2018 budget to conduct an engineering study of the parking lot across from the Evergreen Mall. About $3,000 has been spent to date for conceptual drawings and the remainder will be spent on cost estimates.
Earlier this year council disbanded the village’s safety task force committee, which was formed to address traffic and parking issues in Burns Lake, citing “busy schedules” and difficulties coordinating meetings.
Council has also added $10,000 to the 2018 budget for road surface maintenance, while deducting $10,000 for road line painting. According to Beach, these funds were used to address some “high-priority potholes.”
In addition, council has added $189,000 to the 2018 budget for BC Wildfire Service contract expenses and purchase of new firefighting equipment, to be funded by a contractual agreement with the BC Wildfire Service.
The $11,200 budgeted in 2018 for the installation of paving stones at Pioneer Park was transferred to the 2019 budget. Beach said this project was postponed because it was not completed this season.
The $10,000 budgeted in 2018 for replacement of two sidewalk sections was also transferred to the 2019 budget. Beach said it’s still unclear which sidewalk sections will receive an upgrade.
“We are simply transferring the unspent budget so that we can address additional sidewalks next year,” he said.
Another project transferred to next year was the Seventh Avenue sewer lift station upgrade. The $160,000 budgeted in 2018 for this upgrade was transferred to the 2019 budget.
The planned purchase of public works equipment also had some changes. The $140,000 budgeted in 2018 for a flusher truck, plate compactor, ride on mower, pavement cutter, brush attachment and trailer has been budgeted instead for a flusher truck, ride on mower, brush attachments, flat deck trailer, utility trailer and asphalt grinder.
Discussions about 2019 property tax levy and 2019 level of service for all municipal services were postponed until the new council takes office.