The following FAQs have been added to the website:
If there is no amalgamation, will Duncan tax rates have to go up significantly after the 2021 census due to policing?
According to the Technical Report, Duncan began collecting the Police Bridging Capital Levy in 2012 to prepare for a potential increase in policing costs after the 2016 Census. However, the 2016 census indicated that the population has remained under 5,000. This means the City can now continue to use the amount collected by the levy towards capital projects and alleviate the need to take on loans.
This levy has also enabled the City to prepare for the eventual possibility of higher policing costs once the population reaches 5,000, and mitigate the possibility of a major one-time increase in overall taxation.
More information on the creation of the PBCL can be found in the following 2013 press release: https://duncan.ca/2013/02/province-refunds-2009-2012-policing-costs/
In 2016 the City collected $280,000 in Provincial Police Tax and $770,000 in Police Bridging Capital Levy, totaling $1.05 million. Once the City’s population reaches 5,000, this would be replaced by an increase in general municipal taxes to directly pay for policing.
If Duncan’s population reaches 5,000, Duncan’s estimated annual policing costs would be approximately $1.1 million (2016 dollars based minimum policing requirements, with Duncan responsible for 70 percent of front-line policing costs).
What are the current overall revenues and expenditures of both municipalities?
The Technical Report provides an analysis of the revenue and expenditure for both municipalities between 2011 and 2015. Fluctuations are largely due to transfers from senior, regional, and other governments.
Read more about revenues and expenditures on pages 22-24 of the Technical Report.
The following FAQs have been updated with the latest information:
If amalgamation proceeds, will some municipal staff lose their jobs?
OLD: If the referendum is in favour of amalgamation, detailed analysis will be undertaken to develop options and recommendations to a new Council for merging the two municipalities.
UPDATED: If amalgamation proceeds, it is possible that duplicate staff positions could be eliminated. It is also possible that with a new municipality, additional positions could become available. According to the Technical Report, some director-level positions could be eliminated, and there may be an increased need for to mid-level management staff. If amalgamation proceeds, all final staffing decisions would fall to the new council.
To assist in the process of establishing the new municipality, if the vote favours amalgamation, the municipalities will hire a short-term Transition Consultant. This position is partially subsidized by the Restructuring Assistance grant provided by the provincial government. This consultant will, among other things, provide recommendations on an appropriate organizational structure, staffing plan and suggested timing to facilitate effective and efficient delivery of municipal services for the newly created municipality.
The Technical Report estimates an annual savings of $140,000 by replacing two councils with one and an additional $440,000 by eliminating duplicate staffing positions. This results in a total of $580,000 potential in annual savings from streamlining general government.
It is noted in the report that in many cases, amalgamation implementation could require significant existing staff resources. Therefore, it is possible that some staffing efficiencies may not be realized for a number of years following an amalgamation.
Furthermore, Duncan and North Cowichan’s current combined General Government expenses are generally in line with those of peer communities, even though the Duncan/North Cowichan per capita expenses include expenses for two councils, two Chief Administrative Officers, two Finance Directors, two Corporate Officers, etc. This means that there may be only limited opportunities to realize long-term efficiencies associated with streamlined General Government, and the two governments are already quite efficient.