Victoria, BC - The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board today approved its 2015 budget, focused on enhancing infrastructure and providing services that are priorities for the region. The 2015 operating expenditure portion of the budget ($203 million) pays for a range of more than 200 CRD services to over 371,000 people in the region. In addition, the 2015 capital budget targets $131 million in capital projects.
The Core Area Wastewater Treatment Plan accounts for $75 million of the capital budget, and the remaining $56 million will be invested in growth upgrades, land transfer, park development, and improvements to the drinking water and sewer systems.
2015 marks the last year of a three year planning cycle (2013-2015). The new Strategic Planning process that is currently underway (2015-2019) will impact budget decisions for CRD budget 2016.
The major impacts of the budget are:
- The acquisition of leased land on which 22 properties operate as part of the CRD’s Housing Corporation, offset by a reduction in hospital district funding
- Resources to support the development of the Sea to Sea Regional Park. Planning for the opening of this exciting wilderness area has been underway for a number of years
- Completion of the Regional Growth Strategy
- The budget continues to support the implementation of wastewater treatment for the core municipalities. These costs may be collected via tax requisition, user fees or a combination of both as decided by the participating municipality. The CRD began planning for wastewater treatment facilities in 2006, at the request of the Minister of Environment and to bring the region into compliance with federal and provincial requirements.
The CRD provides a range of key services:
- regional services are provided to all residents
- sub-regional services are provided to residents of participating municipalities
- local services are provided to individual municipalities, electoral areas or groups of residents within local service areas.
The CRD services that each municipality participates in impacts how the CRD budget applies to them. Each municipality and its taxpayers are affected differently, depending on what services they receive. The impact for each municipality and electoral area, and additional information about the 2015 financial plan, are available at www.crd.bc.ca/about/financial-accountability.
Overall the CRD’s budget has two components: the operating portion, and the capital portion. Operating costs pay for the daily business of the CRD. This portion of the budget pays for labour costs, supplies, programs, services and repayment of debt for major projects. Requisition funding and income from fees and service charges, and other grant funding sources fund the operating budget.
The capital investment is included in an annual plan to sustain and enhance infrastructure in the region. This includes acquisition of buildings, facilities, construction of trails, and upgrades to capital assets, such as water treatment plants and sewers. The CRD continues to collect an average of $20 per average residential household assessment for park acquisition and $1 million to support housing needs.
The 2015 Financial Plan received preliminary approval by the Board in October 2014. The plan was prepared based on the development of service plan summaries, which support the work plan and resource requirements for the upcoming year. The service plan summaries are approved by various CRD Board standing committees and commissions. For local services, the respective commissions review and recommend their budgets through the Electoral Area Directors to the Board. In the three electoral areas this process includes a significant amount of work undertaken by many appointed commissioners who volunteer their services in the Southern Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island, and Juan de Fuca.
The CRD is a local government that delivers 200+ regional, sub-regional and local services for residents of the region which includes 13 municipalities and three electoral areas within 2370 square kilometres on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD is working to serve the public, and build a vibrant, livable and sustainable region.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications