The City of Vancouver has posted the 2014 budget which comes in at $1.2 billion in total with a property tax increase of 1.9%. The budget is a huge document with over 200 pages detailing all the different operations of the city with hard cold numbers, service plans and an array of metrics to measure different functions of the city. You can read the budget here
The budget is a combination of the Operational Budget and the Capital Expenditure Budget. The document states: “With the approval of the 2014 capital budget the 2012-2014 Capital Plan will be $772 million.” In 2014 the Capital Expenditure Budget is $285 million. Every three years residents of Vancouver vote on a Capital Plan in the municipal election. The Capital Plan funds such things as repairing sewer, bridges, to building new housing, parks, green space and community centres.
The 2014 Operational Budget for the Park Board will be $58 million dollars (p153). This represents a $1.6 million increase from 2013, which is a 3.3% increase.The Capital Expenditure Budget for the Park Board in 2014 will be $20,983,000 which will be spent on parks, open spaces, street trees and public art. (p.73) Some of the highlights of the budget are Hastings Parks Greening, $9.1 million and renewal of Sunset Park, John Hendry Park, $1.1 million.
Since 2013 the city has started to develop service plans and metrics for all the operations of the city. On service plans the budget document states:
“…in addition to being a significant part of the budget transparency, also represent the City’s commitment to itself and the community to measure and be accountable for its decision and action over the year. Starting in the summer of 2013, annual internal review of these commitments were and will continue to be conducted to track whether services and performing as promised and whether changes in course are warranted.” (p.83)
The Park Board
“The Park Board oversees the delivery of parks and recreation services for the City of Vancouver. It maintains a network of over 230 parks (approximately 1,300 hectares), including sport fields, playgrounds, five outdoor pools, destination parks, gardens and beaches, and is responsible for 24 community centres, nine indoor pools, eight arenas, and 14 fitness centres. The Park Board also manages public marinas, golf courses, concessions, sports fields and clubhouses, and service yards. “ (p. 145)
The Park Boards service plan is made up from its strategic planning process and includes 5 key areas which are:
-improved inclusivity and accessibility
-proactive service planning and delivery
-improved communications and engagement
-enhanced fiscal planning and management
The Park Board has 27 metrics to measure the services that are offered to residents of Vancouver. (p.158) The Park Board in the Greenest City Action Plan has set the goal that all residents will have access to parks or green space with in a 5 minute walking distance of 400m. In 2013 the Park Board achieved this goal for 92% of residents. Clearly, more parks are needed in Vancouver!