Moving Mission Forward
Council established a set of ambitious goals and objectives at the beginning of their term aimed at improving the quality of life for residents, developing sustainable growth in business and industry, and creating meaningful long-term plans to guide the future growth of our municipality.
Each year’s budget determines how your tax dollars will be spent on a wide range of municipal services from garbage, recycling/compost curbside collections to recreation programs and planning for future development.
It is important to Council that our budgeting process be open and transparent, and that our residents have an opportunity to have their say heard.
Final Budget Survey
Share your thoughts on the 2018 municipal budget through this brief survey by November 21, 2017 to help guide Council.
Council is looking for input from the public prior to finalizing the budget. The following has been given preliminary approval to be included in the 2018 financial plan:
- Property tax increase of 3.63%
- Water user fees increase of 1%
- Sewer user fees increase of 4%
- Drainage levy increase of 4.6%
- No increase of garbage, recycling and compost curbside collection fees.
Included in the 3.63% property tax increase:
- Maintaining existing services – 2.63%
- Additional development revenue – (1.49%)
- Non-market change revenue – (1%)
- Spending package requests – 1.87%
- Increased service levels – 1.62%
- One new RCMP Member
- Parking Enforcement & Adjudication
- Victim & Emergency Support
- 24 hour/7 day Career Firefighting Coverage
Engineering & Development Services
- Increased Building Services with a Plan Checker and Building Inspector
- Annual Traffic Count Program
- GIS Technician II
- Engineering Technologist I
Administration & Finance
- Administrative Support
- Health & Safety Position
- Increase Transfer to Reserves
Parks & Recreation
- Leisure Centre Facility Supervisor
Consolidated Operating Fund Budget
Council aims to find that balance between affordable taxes and user fees for its residents and the ability to provide services for a safe and healthy community. The 2018 operating budget of approximately $72.4 million, will see a number of increases to service levels while limiting the property tax and utility increases to a minimum.
Protective Services is the largest component of the operating budget at 23%.
- Police Services at $12.1 million, or 17% of the budget,
- Fire/Rescue Services at $4.2 million, or 6% of the budget.
Mission offers a broad range of municipal services funded from six operating funds:
- General Operating Fund, $48.4 million,
- Water Utility Fund, $6.9 million,
- Sewer Utility Fund, $5.1 million,
- Waste Management Fund, $5.9 million,
- Drainage Utility Fund, $1.8 million,
- Forestry Enterprise, $4.3 million.
The blue coloured sections of the consolidated operating expenditures graph represents the services funded through the General Operating Fund.
The District has three main funding sources to pay for municipal services. They are:
- Property Taxes, $34.9 million,
- User Fees and Charges, $21.2 million,
- Utility User Fees, $16.3 million.
Property taxes are the main revenue source for the General Operating Fund expenditures.
Utility user fees are the main source of revenue for the utility funds.
Each year, the District reviews and adjusts its user fees and charges . The goal is to offset the cost of doing business and to lessen the reliance on property taxes.
In 2018, the District is projected to receive $2.85 million of Government transfers (grants from other levels of government). Of this amount, $1.66 million will be used for capital projects, with the balance of $1.19 million used to offset operating costs for services such as: Policing, Council’s Community Grant Program, Social Development, and Restorative Justice.
General Operating Fund Budget
Proposed Budget Changes
The overall budget increase is estimated at $1,093,450, and represents an estimated 3.63% increase to the budget. This increase would affect the property taxes of the average assessed valued home ($560, 500) by $68.83.
Operating Spending Package Requests
Impact on 2018 Property Taxes
Property taxation is the main source of revenue for the District. Property
tax notices, mailed out each May, include taxes collected on behalf of
various other taxing authorities. Depending on where you live, your tax
notice may also include charges for municipal utilities.
The proposed net increase in the 2018 general operating budget of
$1,093,450 represents a 3.63% increase in the District’s total budget. This
means, if approved, the average value home will see an estimated increase
of 3.63% for the municipal portion only on the property tax notice.
The average home in Mission paid $3,142 in property taxes in 2017, with
$1,896 of that amount for municipal services. With the proposed 3.63%
increase in the budget, the estimated 2018 municipal property taxes will
be $1,965, a $68.84 increase.
For every dollar spent on property taxes, 47 cents goes
to protective services (Police & Fire) and 9 cents is
transferred to reserves for future planning and capital.
Comparing our Neighbours
The annual tax notice includes amounts for
municipal property taxes, taxes levied by other
authorities (e.g. provincial school taxes) and
flat rate municipal utilities (water, sewer,
Mission ranks 4th lowest out of 22
neighbouring communities in terms of the
cost of property taxes (excluding utilities) on
an average assessed home. In 2017, the
average assessed home paid $3,142.
Capital Projects, Reserves and Debt
Over the next five years, the District’s Capital Plan has over $68 million worth of capital projects slated as it continues to invest in infrastructure such as transportation, facilities, water and sanitary sewer systems. $15.2 million is
scheduled for capital projects in 2018. Condition assessments on infrastructure, as part of the asset management program, helps the District prioritize replacement capital projects within the long-term financial plan.
Capital projects for 2018 to 2022 include:
- 1st Avenue Streetscapes Project – $3 million
- Second Sanitary Sewer Pipeline Crossing to JAMES Plant – $8.6 million (2017 –
- Leisure Centre roof replacements – $2.08 million
- Other Leisure Centre repairs and equipment upgrades – $1.95 million
- Information services equipment and software – $1.15 million
- Park upgrades – $0.9 million
- Paving and sidewalks – $14.2 million
- Water Utility projects total – $14.2 million
- Sewer Utility projects total – $11.9 million (not including the sanitary sewer
- Drainage Utility projects total – $3 million
- Waste Management Utility projects total – $584,200
- Equipment purchases – $5 million
Operating vs Capital
The operating budget is used to pay the day-to-day expenses for the various community programs and services, such as the Public Works roads crew and the cost to run their equipment. The capital budget is for investment in infrastructure, such as road construction, facility upgrades, replacing aging water and sewer pipes, or replacing a fire truck.
Building our Community
Mission is growing and we must continue to develop new infrastructure, amenities, and partnerships to continually enhance the quality of life within our community.
Each year the District transfers a portion of its budget into reserves to fund future capital and operating expenditures. The District is budgeting to transfer $13.1 million into reserves in 2018. The District strives to build all of its reserves to a healthy level. Staff are proposing to increase the transfer, to the General Capital Reserve, by $150,000. This equates to a 0.50% tax increase to property taxes. These additional funds will assist in funding necessary capital projects.
Saving ahead for funding infrastructure and capital projects is Mission’s “pay as you go” philosophy, and is preferable to debt financing (borrowing), particularly external debt financing, as interest costs can add significantly to the overall cost of a project. Internal borrowing,(where one reserve account “borrows” from another), is preferable to “taking out a loan”. Borrowed money is used to finance infrastructure for growth/development to occur. The borrowing reserve repays the lending reserve with interest, avoiding interest payments to external sources. In 2018, $60,749 of debt servicing cost savings will be realized from the maturing of a debt issue. This budget savings is being proposed to be redirected into the District’s Debt Reserve Fund to pay down existing debt when available and reduce future debt expenditures. Water, sewer, waste management, and drainage utilities are all currently debt free from external sources.
The District of Mission and the City of Abbotsford are joint partners in the major regional water supply and sewage treatment systems, which benefit residents in both communities. These services are cost shared based on each community’s usage. Mission’s cost share percentages for the regional utilities for 2017 is:
- Water 24.23%
- Sewer 21.22%
Mission’s share of the 2018 regional capital budget is:
- Water $876,850
- Sewer $616,300
Included in the 2023 regional water capital budget is $6.2 million for Mission’s share of construction of a new water source. Preliminary planning is just getting underway, the timing and cost estimates could very likely change.
In addition to the regional water system, Mission owns and operates its own water distribution system. To keep pace with inflation and maintain healthy reserves for both the regional and local water systems, Council proposes a 1% increase in water user fees. This will increase the annual flat rate fee by $4.92 for a total of $498.72 per year or $41.56 per month. Highlights of the 2018 water utility budget include:
- Silverdale Fire Fighting Water Supply project. $100,000, to increase
area to qualify for reduced property insurance coverage,
- Transfer to Water Capital Reserve – $2.98 million,
- Increase of $156,911 in regional operating expenses for maintenance
on water sources, and
Total capital budget projects equal: $2.4 million
~ regional water projects – $0.9 million
~ local water projects – $1.5 million (includes $1.2 million of water main
In addition to the regional water system, Mission owns and operates its own sewage conveyance system. To keep pace with inflation and to build-up our reserves to support the JAMES Wastewater Treatment Plant, Council proposes a 4% increase in Sewer User Fees. This will increase the annual flat rate fee by $15.84 for a total of $414.00 per year or $34.50 per month.
Highlights of the 2018 sewer utility budget include:
- Transfer to Sewer Capital Reserve – $1.45
- Total Capital budget projects equal: $2.1
~ regional sewer projects – $0.6 million
~ local sewer projects – $1.5 million, including
$300,000 for sewer condition assessment
and replacements, and $1.1 million for
pump station upgrades.
~ Construction of a new sanitary sewer river
crossing pipe to JAMES Treatment Plant –
$8.6 million during 2017 to 2019.
Mission owns the Landfill (Minnie’s Pit), the Mershon St. Recycling Depot and jointly owns the Abbotsford/Mission Recycling Sorting and Processing facility, (AMRD) located in Abbotsford. Waste Management is funded through the flat rate utility fees collected on the
property tax notice and landfill tipping fees. Included in the budget is an amount transferred to the Refuse Reserve Fund, to pay for future capital projects.
Highlights of the 2018 waste management budget include:
- Transfer to Refuse Reserves –
- Increased AMRD revenue –
- Increased AMRD operating
expenses – $489,538
- Capital projects total $129,700
The District’s drainage utility program, established in 2016, has significant challenges maintaining existing operations and
developing a capital program for replacement and upgrading of the District’s drainage systems. Council proposes a 4.6% increase to the drainage levy. The levy, which is based on each property’s assessment value, will impact the average homeowner by $4.70 for a total cost of $106.82 per year or $8.90 per month.
Highlights of the 2018 drainage utility budget include:
- Increase annual transfer to Drainage Utility
Capital Reserve by $60,000,
- Capital projects total $545,000
~ 7th Avenue and Murray Street Culvert
Flat Rate Utility Fees
The proposed increase for flat rate utility fees is just over $20. This includes 1% for water, 4% for sewer, and no increase for curbside collection of garbage and recycling/compost.
Rate increases are to maintain the long-term health of the regional and local utility operations and to fund future capital projects.
*On an average assessed home of $560,500Metered rate will be increasing from $1.25 m3 to $1.26 m3.
Bylaw Violation Adjudication System
Council is considering the request to join the Upper Fraser Valley Bylaw Adjudication System for Parking Enforcement and other bylaw violations. This will provide recipients the ability to dispute a bylaw ticket through an adjudicator rather than the Provincial Courts. By joining this System, bylaw violations will be dealt with in a fair, simple, and cost effective method, providing a safe community for our residents.
1st Avenue Streetscapes
The 1st Avenue Streetscapes project design drawings are underway with the District going out for Tender by the end of this year. This is a $3.5 million dollar project that Council approved during the 2017 budget process and is funded from reserve funds. ($500,000 in 2017 and $3 million in 2018.
Construction is expected to start in early 2018 (depending
on the weather) with completion by the end of 2018.
There are no increases being proposed to the current curbside collection fees in 2018. Recyclables and compostables are collected curbside every week and the curbside collection of garbage occurs biweekly. This bi-weekly schedule has increased the curbside garbage diversion rate from 53% to 66%. Additional information on waste management is available by visiting mission.ca/waste. Increases are proposed to various landfill fees including 2% for garbage tipping fees. Mission’s current share of the recycling depot’s (AMRD) operating costs is 23% and is expected to increase to 24% in 2018.
With the increases to our establishment over the last couple of years, the detachment was able to form a Prolific Offender Suppression Team which has been fully functional for just over 18 months. Since that time, Mission RCMP is proud to report that the team has achieved significant results which directly attributed to the 19% drop in property crime in 2016. An even more dramatic decrease is expected for 2017, as statistics to the end of September already show a decrease of 26%.
The Mission Forestry Enterprise harvests and sells approximately 45,000 cubic meters of wood annually into the Vancouver Log Market. The business is self-sustaining and funds its operations from the sale of logs. Since inception, the Forestry Enterprise has generated over $11.5 million in profits which have been used to fund nonforestry projects such as a fire hall and fire truck, library
improvements, and local arts and culture
Green Spending Initiatives
Three EV Charging Stations, one at Municipal Hall, one at our Welton Street Building, and one at the Leisure Centre were installed
this year. Council has also approved the additional costs to purchase two electric vehicles for the District Fleet. With the addition of electric vehicles to our fleet, an EV Charging Station will be installed at Public Works to enable the charging of the electric vehicles.