The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has approved the preliminary 2017 Financial Plan. The plan focuses on investment in the future of the region, while slightly reducing operating costs and maintaining staff levels.
The CRD Financial Plan, Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) and Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) budgets combine to form a consolidated budget. The consolidated operating portion ($267.5 million) will pay for a range of more than 200 CRD services and sub-services to over 377,000 people in the region. In addition, the consolidated capital budget targets $167.6 million in capital projects. An overview is available in the attached 2017 Budget Overview.
Through the proposed capital expenditure plans, funds will be invested in social housing, health infrastructure, park development, protective services and improvements to the drinking water and wastewater systems. Investment in capital projects occurs while the CRD keeps debt servicing at 13% of revenue, and only one third of capital investment is funded through debt. A list of significant capital projects is available in the attached CRD and CRHD Major Capital Projects lists.
The operating portion of the CRD Financial Plan pays for the daily business of the CRD, including labour costs, supplies, programs, services and repayment of debt for major projects. For 2017, nearly half of the CRD’s revenue (48%) comes from sale of services, with requisition (28%) and a variety of other funding sources making up the remainder.
“The 2017 preliminary Financial Plan holds the line on operational costs while investing in important capital projects.” said CRD Board Chair, Barbara Desjardins. “The wastewater treatment requisition increase for core municipalities is being done in a measured and thoughtful way.”
The major impacts and highlights include:
- The budget continues to support the implementation of core area wastewater treatment by increasing the requisition to $20 million ($5 million increase). This follows a 2013 Board decision to budget for incremental increases to reduce overall interest expense, reduce the ongoing annual debt servicing costs and provide sufficient funding for capital and operating costs. These costs may be collected via tax requisition, user fees or a combination of both as decided by the participating municipality. In the fall of 2016, the CRD Board approved the recommended wastewater treatment project proposal put forward by the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Board.
- Managing natural areas and ensuring access to park and trails through the continued development of the E&N Rail Trail, a new cycling and pedestrian trail largely within the E&N rail corridor. The CRD Board has agreed to borrow up to $6.1 million to complete an additional 2.3 km of trail by 2019, which will provide residents and visitors with a 13.8 km continuous route from Jacklin Road in the rapidly-growing Westshore communities to Victoria. The CRD continues to collect an average of $20 per average residential household assessment for park acquisition.
- Providing affordable housing through the Regional Housing First Program implementation plan, approved in the fall of 2016. The CRD continues to collect $1 million to support housing needs.
- The CRD is making progress toward a new regional Emergency Response Dispatch Centre. $16 million has been included in the budget for a planned 911 unified call answer centre. Existing facilities are not adequate and a new site is required to construct a proposed centre that will meet post-disaster standards and accommodate consolidated services.
- Renewing and improving drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for the region’s urban centres and local service areas, including the upgrading of the drinking water disinfection plant for the Regional Water Supply System and the $3.6 million Juan de Fuca Water Distribution System extension for Bear Mountain Parkway.
- Managing wastewater and protecting local watershed and surrounding marine environment through planned upgrades to existing wastewater conveyance and treatment infrastructure for the Core Area, Saanich Peninsula and Electoral Areas.
- Investigating integrated resource management solutions and exploring the potential for renewable natural gas infrastructure which could position Hartland landfill as a hub for renewable natural gas on Vancouver Island. $10 million has been included provisionally in the capital plan for a potential landfill gas utilization facility.
- Investing and partnering in the development of health-related infrastructure through the development of The Summit at Quadra Village, a 320 unit complex residential and dementia care facility. Construction of the facility is currently underway.
2017 marks the second year of a four year planning cycle to ensure alignment with the municipal election cycle. The CRD’s multi-year budgets establish a longer-term perspective of the allocation of resources required to deliver the programs and services needed by the community, and to accomplish Board priorities.
The preliminary 2017 Financial Plan is subject to change prior to final approval by the Board in March. Feedback can be provided via email. Comments will be correlated and provided to the Board as part of the budget approval process.
For more information about the budget planning process and financial details, please visit the CRD website and view the following: