City of Vancouver 2013 Capital and Operating Budget for consideration
Vancouver City Council will consider a proposed Capital Budget of $258 million and Operating Budget of $1.148 billion when it meets in a special evening session on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at City Hall. The proposed budgets are being brought to Council in a combined report for the first time under a new best-practice based process.
The 2013 Capital and Operating Budgets reflect the priorities of Council and its various Boards, with significant investments in affordable housing, parks and recreation, and public safety.
Following approval of the 2012 budget, Council directed staff to undertake a best practices review for budget development and consultation, which was conducted with the assistance of Price Waterhouse Coopers.
As a result, the 2013 budget is accompanied by a detailed Service Plan that outlines key metrics on how the City delivers its services. This is the first time the City has combined extensive performance metrics with budgets.
Examples of these metrics include:
- Permits issued for secondary suites and laneway housing per year
- 3-1-1 calls answered within 30 seconds
- Response times for firefighting crews
- Number of internet sessions at public libraries
- Kilometers of sewers separated per year.
Other features of the budget include five-year budget and employee trends for departments and a city-wide, three-year operating budget outlook.
Including this comprehensive information in the budget document is designed to provide Council and Vancouverites with a better understanding of services being delivered and the opportunity to assess value-for-money.
Following the special council meeting on Dec. 4, Council will vote on the 2013 budget on Dec. 10.
- Keeps taxes low – just a 2% increase, in line with inflation. That gives Vancouver the 3rd-lowest tax rates for homeowners among 18 Metro Vancouver municipalities.
- Sets a new standard for financial oversight: for the first time, this year’s budget contains detailed service metrics for each City department, tracking everything from garbage pick-ups to ice rink usage to fire response times.
- Commits $9.6 million for affordable housing.
- Invests $14.4 million for parks and open spaces, with improvements to playgrounds, sport courts, and Trillium field.
- Invests $11.8 million to improve bike and pedestrian safety on major active transportation routes.
- Provides an additional $300,000 for arts, cultural, and social grants.
- Provides an additional $700,000 for Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, with funding for the Urban Search and Rescue Team and additional firefighters.
- Invests $2 million for a new VPD Community Safety Program, to prevent break-ins, speed up police response times, and improve neighbourhood safety.