New improvements, expansions, and infrastructure come at a price
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
Students in Port Coquitlam, whether living at home or on their own, can expect a tightened grip on their expenditures thanks to the new proposed tax hike of 3.4 per cent.
According to the City of Port Coquitlam’s 2016–20 Financial Plan, safety, recreation, and infrastructure projects were the top three priorities for investment this year. On average, the potentially raised property tax would turn out to be “$68.23 for single-family homes, $52.72 for town houses, and $31.52 for apartments.”
For many residents, questions might arise as to what the additional expenses are needed for. First and foremost, the city plans to hire four new police officers into the force.
Secondly, a new Cultural Development and Community Services Manager position will open up, due to public feedback in 2015 that showed demand for more community festivals, arts, and cultural leadership.
Among new items, council highlighted expenses on planning of the new community recreation complex in Downtown Port Coquitlam, the planned hosting of the PoCo Grand Prix, the building of the Nicola Avenue Road Extension, and developing Shop PoCo, an easily accessible online directory of local goods and services.
Further improvements are planned to be made to the Coquitlam River Bridge. Taxes will also go towards updated access to the city’s website on mobile devices, and renovations to the Sun Valley Park Spray Park and Coast Meridian Community Police Station.
Additionally, the city budget made way for collaborative projects, such as planning the future Lincoln Avenue and Victoria Drive connections with Coquitlam, and a guarantee of sufficient local bus connections to the Evergreen Line with TransLink.
Lastly, a reforestation plan is in the works for the northern part of Lions Park. With ongoing improvements on tree regulations, residents should be on the lookout for new and replanted trees in their neighbourhoods.
Likewise, many neighbouring municipalities are raising their tax prices, whether it be for government functions, police services, or utilities such as sewage and solid waste. Coquitlam recently raised its 2.64 per cent, with Port Moody in the midst of considering a 5.13 per cent increase.
Residents of Port Coquitlam are encouraged to provide feedback up until March 7 through an online survey. Those who have concerns can make them known for potential change in the municipal budget.