Township of Langley civic facility. (Langley Advance Times files)

Township of Langley civic facility. (Langley Advance Times files)

Budget shortfall shrinking in Langley Township

Staff showed council a tightened up budget, without borrowing, on Monday

Langley Township is likely to rule out borrowing money to get through this year’s COVID-afflicted municipal budget, councillors heard on Monday.

At a special budget meeting held via Zoom, the council heard that there’s a 3.79 per cent gap between the Township’s funding and its expected expenses for 2021.

That could translate into a 3.79 per cent property tax increase, or it could be reduced still further if the council votes to put off spending, raise user fees, or cut any programs.

The number is a reduction from the 4.14 per cent gap Township staff presented at a previous budget meeting earlier in the month.

According to a presentation made to the council, necessary spending is up, and COVID has also added some expenses, such as extra cleaning, at rec centres and other civic buildings.

A loss of revenue from pools and ice arenas has also put pressure on the budget.

However, population growth is bringing in more tax money this year, and some reductions in spending, along with a multi-million federal Restart Grant have brought the gap down.

Some of the reduced spending comes from putting off adding new RCMP officers, reducing a road paving budget increase, deferring any staff changes for six months, a reduced lease on the Community Police Office, and increased revenue from building permits as construction continues to break records.

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