District of Wells - Five Year Financial Plan 2017-2021 (Bylaw No. 151, 2017)
On Tuesday, April 25, 2017 the District of Wells Council gave First and Second Readings to Bylaw No. 151, 2017 (District of Wells - Five Year Financial Plan 2017-2021. A process of public consultation is required before Council can adopt the Five Year Financial Plan bylaw. Comments concerning the proposed Five Year Financial Plan can be submitted to the District of Wells Clerk by letter or email (email@example.com) on or before May 4, 2017 (if received by noon), or presented in person at the Special Council meeting scheduled for May 8th, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Wells Municipal Hall.
For the past several years, the District of Wells has enjoyed a period of relative financial security resulting from a number of positive contributing factors. During those years, operational and capital costs were normally funded by current year revenues and producing a year-end surplus was the norm. In 2013 it was projected that current spending patterns and revenue projections would result in the District beginning to face a deficit by 2015 that would increase with each passing year thereafter. The District has a financial reserve which could be used to address such emerging contingencies; however, the magnitude of continuous and growing deficits over an extended period of years is not sustainable.
The District has determined that, if nothing changes, in the absence of additional secure sources of revenue after 2017 the current course is sustainable only until 2022. Without a secure source of additional revenues the District will need to begin an orderly shut down of operations commencing in 2021 and terminating at the end of 2022. The handling and management of residual funds and assets would be determined in accordance with Provincial legislation and instructions from the appropriate Provincial Ministries.
Message from the District of Wells Council
The District of Wells Council and staff intend to seek solutions to ensure the District does not shut down, including for example by lobbying the Provincial Government for additional financial support through its Small Communities Stabilization Grant (SCSG) program. Other potential sources of municipal revenues could include:
Establishing a firm revenue commitment for future years from the Wells-Barkerville Community Forest; AND/OR
Significantly increasing local property taxes or expanding the tax base (for example, expanding the District of Wells boundaries to include future buildings and ore processing facilities associated with Barkerville Gold Mines (BGM).
It should also be noted that while no decisions have been made (yet) by the District of Wells Council or the Wells-Barkerville Community Forest Board to provide the District with the additional revenues it needs such decisions remain an option.
Copies of the District of Wells Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw No. 151, 2017 are available at the District of Wells Municipal Hall at 4243 Sanders Avenue, Wells, BC.