Delta council recently approved increasing the city’s contribution to remain in the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) system.
The budget for 2024 will see an increase of 6.76 per cent, which works out to $276,792, for a total budget of $4,491,599 for Delta.
Several funding options were presented.
The option chosen maintains existing operations and includes, among other things, an increase in materials purchasing and an additional increase for digital materials purchases, which typically costs more.
A staff report notes the primary driver of the proposed increase is the expected settlement rate for the FVRL union contract.
The city is also getting a 2023 Provincial Government Enhancement Grant as part of a three-year grant funding plan.
During council’s discussion, Mayor George Harvie noted the city is in full support of the library system and already expressed its desire not to withdraw.
The last time there was talk about the possibility of Delta leaving the FVRL was back in 2016, when council ended up voting in favour of a staff recommendation to approve the regional library system’s proposed budget, which at that time had Delta paying an increase of just over three per cent, pushing the municipality’s contribution to almost $3.5 million.
Earlier that year, Delta council members expressed dismay at the budget, pointing out Delta’s portion has gone up by more than 14 per cent over five years - a more than $500,000 increase.
Council subsequently passed a motion to direct staff to look into opting out of the FVRL.
A report to council noted staff were satisfied the development of the budget demonstrated a good balance between fiscal restraint and the need to address longer term needs.