February 6, 2012 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Finance Committee





Monday, February 6, 2012



Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair

Councillor Chak Au

Councillor Derek Dang

Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Ken Johnston

Councillor Bill McNulty

Councillor Linda McPhail

Councillor Harold Steves




Councillor Linda Barnes


Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 5:11 p.m.








It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee held on Monday, December 12, 2011, be adopted as circulated.













(File Ref. No. 03-0900-01/2011-Vol 01) (REDMS No. 3428244)



Andrew Nazareth, General Manager, Business and Financial Services, joined by Jerry Chong, Director, Finance, reviewed the process under which the newly formed Assessor Team considered and ranked each submission for the Capital Budget. 



In response to a query, Mr. Nazareth advised that the 2012 Unfunded Submissions (listed in Appendix 2) were listed by structure type, and were not presented in any priority order . 



A discussion ensued amongst members of the Committee and staff about many projects that were recommended as well as the rationale for some that were not recommended at this time, and the following was noted:




improvements to Nelson Road were supplemental, and the project would receive federal funding as well as contributions from Port Metro Vancouver and TransLink;




User Fee funds are placed into a Reserve fund for future turf replacement and improvements to sports fields;




the proposed new major play area at the Terra Nova Northwest Quadrant would be similar to the one at Garden City Park;




as a result of the City’s management of land acquisitions approximately 200 acres have been acquired in the past four years, without impacting the City’s reserve funds, and during a recession period;




video camera vehicle detection would allow residents to view traffic conditions on the internet, and would serve as a traffic management tool as the camera would detect traffic flow and change the traffic lights accordingly;




the initial cost for the Herbert Road - Afton to Bates proposed walkway  is $250,000, and an additional $10,000 would be placed annually into the paving program for future replacement of the walkway;




there is a need for a walkway on Ash Street between Walter Lee and James Whiteside Elementary schools, as there are safety concerns related to students walking on the road in its current state.  Staff advised that the walkway would be included in the 2013 Capital Budget, or that Council may choose to allocate funding for the walkway from the 2012 Operating Budget Surplus, which would allow staff to construct it during the 2012 summer while school is not in session;




improvements to the No. 5 Road and Steveston intersection, including a left turn signal, are included in the Fantasy Gardens site re-development with all associated costs to be covered by the developer;




emergency stabilization repairs are required at the Phoenix Net Loft as a portion of the structure is becoming unstable;




the Public Safety Building (former RCMP building) was part of a cascading plan to consolidate city departments within the City Hall Precinct, and had been approved by Council in 2011, however, subsequently this building was included in the Minoru Precinct Plan, and therefore any funding from this project will not be spent until Council makes a final decision on the overall plan for the area;




the Emergency Mobile Command Unit Replacement and Upgrade to Emergency Response Capabilities was not recommended as it is not a high priority for this year, and will be brought forward in the future; and




the City Centre Community Police Office will not impact the operating budget as Council has previously allocated funds from the 2011 budget, to be dispersed over the three years;



It was moved and seconded



That the 2012 Capital Budget be approved and that staff be authorized to commence the recommended 2012 capital projects.








(File Ref. No.) (REDMS No.3454492)



Andrew Nazareth, General Manager, Business and Financial Services, joined by Jerry Chong, Director, Finance, provided background information on the 2012 Operating Budget report. 



A discussion then ensued about:




the request for funding for the Child Care Grant program.  Clarification was provided that although staff was developing new Terms of Reference for the Child Care Development Grant Program to expand their ability to recommend grants for more than minor capital expenses, an additional $20,000 was requested to expand the Program and raise the existing level of the grants;




the request for funding for the Public Art Assistant’s salary.  Staff noted that currently the position is funded on a part-time basis as funds are available in the administrative budget;




the comparison of average residential property taxes and business taxes;




concerns and challenges related to using CPI as a measure for municipal budgeting;




the decrease in the operating budget which resulted from lower discretionary spending without impacting the level of service provided; and




how the 2012 Operating Budget was a very prudent budget, with one of the lowest tax increases, and with additional level increases only related to social planning.



It was moved and seconded



That the 2012 Operating Budget as presented in the report dated January 10, 2012, from the Director, Finance, be approved.



The question on the motion was not called as a brief discussion took place about the current status of repayment of funds that had been borrowed for projects in the past. 



The question on the motion was then called, and it was CARRIED.





(File Ref. No.) (REDMS No. 3433830)



It was moved and seconded



That the report entitled City Centre Area Transitional Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 8776 - Referral, dated January 10, 2012, from the General Manager, Business and Financial Services, be received for information.



The question on the motion was not called, as a brief discussion ensued about the benefits realized by eligible businesses in the City of Richmond as a result of the City Centre Area Tax Exemption.  It was noted that in order to mitigate the tax impact, 1/3 of the growth from the City Centre exempted properties has been added back to business and light industrial properties, 1/3 has been allocated to all other remaining tax classes, and 1/3 has been funded by the Appeals Provision account.



The question on the motion was then called, and it was CARRIED.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (6:30 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Monday, February 6, 2012.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie


Shanan Dhaliwal

Executive Assistant

City Clerk’s Office