Well rested after the first long weekend for the soon to be summer of 2022, Rupertites returned to their daily routines on Tuesday, many to find a greeting from the City of Prince Rupert in their mailboxes by the end of the day.
The annual spring migration for the 2022 City Tax Bills has begun the journey across the city.
This years tax notice providing a significant jump for many residents, as increased home valuations and a tax increase of 3.63% for 2022, delivered what will be a dip into the savings accounts for many for the 4th of July deadline for payment.
Also included in the tax notices was the annual Letter from the Mayor, the last of the correspondences for the incumbent Lee Brain, who will be stepping down from his post following the October municipal vote.
Among some of the themes from the Mayor's final tax time address were a review of the Budget Highlights of the tax increase, which included a note on inflationary costs, an increase to policing costs due to a negotiated increase in pay from the RCMP union and allocation to reserves for emergency water repairs.
Mr. Brain also shared a few items of note from the year as the Council works to 'forge a new path forward for Prince Rupert'
Among the overview from the Mayor's list:
The transformation of Watson Island from the city's largest liability to that of a revenue generator
Investments made to critical infrastructure through the access of grant funding
Replacement of the Water Dam and progress towards a new water treatment system
Construction of the new landfill cell and launch of the curbside recycling program
Increase to paving budget, start of the replacement of the RCMP detachment and the introduction of a innovative wastewater treatment process, which if successful will save the City 100 million from original estimates.
The Mayor also noted how the City has built upon the ReDesign Rupert 2030 Vision plan, observing as to the development of a new Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaws.
As well he outlines the new incentives towards renewal of the downtown, speaks of the partnerships for the Cow Bay Marina and Rushbrook Trail and put some focus on the new Seal Cove Salt Marsh recreation area and the plans for CN Heritage building.
Housing also gets a short overview, noting of the new housing policy, the recent move to allow for more secondary suites and the ongoing sale of public land for housing use.
It being his last message at tax time, he also provides for a farewell with hopes for the direction the city is moving towards."While we can be proud of how far we have come as a community, we all know there's so much more to do.
Although I am resigning my post this election, I'm confident in our community's direction moving Prince Rupert forward - into 2022 and beyond.
Thank you for all of your support over the years. It has fuelled us to do the heavy lifting required for this community to reach new heights" -- Mayor Lee Brain
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