Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has approved the preliminary 2016 Financial Plan. The plan focuses on enhancing infrastructure and providing services that are priorities for the region. The 2016 consolidated operating expenditure portion of the budget ($262 million) pays for a range of more than 200 CRD services and sub-services to over 375,000 people in the region. In addition, the 2016 consolidated capital budget targets $120 million in capital projects. An overview is available in the attached 2016 Budget Overview.
On the capital side, the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Plan accounts for $42 million of the capital budget, and the remaining $78 million will be invested in social housing, health infrastructure, park development, and improvements to the drinking water and sewer systems. A list of significant capital projects is available in the attached Capital Projects List.
2016 marks the first year of a four year planning cycle to ensure alignment with the municipal election cycle. The CRDs multi-year budgets establish a longer-term focus regarding the allocation of resources required to deliver the programs and services needed by the community, and to accomplish Board priorities.
The preliminary 2016 Financial Plan is subject to change prior to final approval by the Board in March. Feedback can be provided via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments will be correlated and provided to the Board as part of the budget planning process.
The major impacts of the budget are:
- Managing wastewater and protecting local watershed and surrounding marine environment through planned upgrades to existing sewer conveyance and treatment infrastructure for the Core Area, Saanich Peninsula and Electoral Areas.
- Delivering and maintaining an adequate supply of safe and reliable drinking water through an upgrade of the regional water supply disinfection facility as well as an asbestos main replacement and fire flow upgrades in the Juan de Fuca water systems.
- Providing affordable housing and coordinating affordable housing services through $3.2M in capital improvements to the Capital Regional Housing Corporation (CRHC) housing portfolio.
- Investing and partnering in the development of health-related infrastructure through the development of The Summit at Quadra Village, the replacement of Royal Jubilee’s boiler, and the development of the Unit Dose Medication Distribution Hub at Royal Jubilee
- Managing natural areas and ensuring access to park and trails through the continued development of the E&N Rail Trail, construction of the Trans Canada trail, and the opening of the Sea to Sea Regional Park.
- Increased resources to support implementation of the new Board remuneration framework, and investments to support increased asset management initiatives and increased service areas utilization of the corporate Enterprise Resource Planning system.
- 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 and/or electoral areas
- local services are provided to individual municipalities, electoral areas or groups of residents within local service areas.
The CRD plays an essential role in helping its citizens and businesses enjoy and contribute to building a region that is vibrant, livable and sustainable. This means ensuring the right level of programs and services are provided by the CRD, at the right cost. The CRD budget consists of more than 200 individual and sub-service budgets; some of which are recommended directly through Standing Committees of the Board, and others which are recommended by Commissions which have various degrees of delegated authority. Various CRD Commissions and Committees receive input leading up to the preparation of budgets in the form of user statistics, customer satisfaction surveys, advisory body reports, annual operational reports and from a wide variety of public engagement activities. Local and sub-regional Commissions may also include rate payer representatives.
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 2016 Preliminary Financial 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.
Additional information about the preliminary 2016 financial plan is available here.
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 kilometers 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