Victoria, BC – The Financial Plan for 2018 was approved by the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board today. The plan reflects and responds to a strong and vibrant economy, as evidenced by a surge of development and population growth in the capital region. The CRD’s multi-year financial plans establish a long-term perspective for allocating resources required to deliver programs and services needed by the community, and to accomplish Board priorities.
The CRD, Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) and Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) financial plans combine to form a consolidated budget representing a range of activities and services for over 383,000 people in the region. The impacts and benefits are unique to each municipality, electoral area and First Nation as each participates in a different set of services. An overview is available in the attached 2018 Consolidated Budget Overview.
The capital portion of the CRD Financial Plan pays for new investments in infrastructure including new facilities, expansions or enhancement and renewal. This includes acquisition of buildings and facilities as well as construction and upgrades to assets. For 2018, the capital portion of $213.7 million shows an increase of $55.2 million (35%) compared to the 2017 CRD Financial Plan. The Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project accounts for $135 million (63%) of capital expenditures as construction activities continue. A list of significant capital projects is available in the attached CRD & CRHD Major Capital Projects.
- The Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project will see significant construction activities in 2018. The project will take advantage of significant contributions totaling more than $450 million from the federal and provincial governments as work proceeds. The CRD continues to support implementation of core area wastewater treatment by increasing the requisition to $25 million ($5 million increase) for participating municipalities. This follows a 2013 Board decision to budget for incremental increases to reduce overall interest expense, reduce ongoing annual debt servicing costs and provide sufficient funding for capital and operating costs.
- Renewing and improving drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for the region’s urban centres and local service areas continues in 2018. Activities include the upgrading of the drinking water disinfection plant for the Regional Water Supply System and Juan de Fuca Water Distribution System upgrades with the extension of McCallum Road.
- The Board has approved the 2018 Regional Water Supply wholesale water rate of $0.6644 per cubic metre as recommended by the Regional Water Supply Commission, which is a 4.22% increase over the 2017 rate. The rate increase is necessary as a result of increases in operating expenses associated with water supply system operation, maintenance and repair costs, on-going capital infrastructure upgrades, renewals and project funding requirements, and accounting for depreciation of existing system infrastructure.
- Managing natural areas and ensuring access to parks and trails will remain a priority as the CRD continues 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 Westshore communities to Victoria. The CRD also continues to collect $20 per average residential household assessment resulting in $3.7 million annually for park land acquisition.
- Construction of a unified 911 call answer and police dispatch centre is now underway and borrowing costs for construction will be funded from existing revenue streams. When completed later this year, the centre will meet post-disaster standards and accommodate consolidated services that benefit residents across the region in 2019.
- Expansion of the SEAPARC leisure complex in Sooke to add 478 square metres (5,150 square feet) of fitness and multi-purpose space.
- The CRHD Financial Plan includes $51.7 million for continued development of health-related infrastructure, including The Summit at Quadra Village, a 320 unit complex residential and dementia care facility. Construction of the facility is currently underway and is scheduled to be complete in 2019.
- Continued implementation of the Regional Housing First Program (RHFP) in partnership with the Province of BC and Island Health. The RHFP is a six-year capital housing program that will increase the region’s supply of affordable housing units that address the needs of people experiencing chronic homelessness and low to moderate households.
- The CRHC will finalize designs and start construction on Westview, a 73-unit mixed-use building in Saanich at 3816 Carey Road. The CRD is leasing land to the CRHC as part of the Mt View Heights campus of care.
The CRD, through collaboration with BC Stats, analyzed the economic impact of the region’s capital investment for 2018. Statistical information about the flow of goods and services among various industries provides a comprehensive and detailed representation of the economy. With an estimated capital plan expenditure of $213.7 million for 2018, an estimated 1,315 jobs will be created for families in British Columbia, including 589 local jobs within the capital region.
The operating portion ($248.4 million) pays for the daily business of the CRD, including labour, supplies, programs, services and repayment of debt for major projects. For 2018, the operating portion includes revenues and expenditures of $248.4 million, an increase of $9.8 million or 4% compared to the 2017 CRD Financial Plan. This increase reflects the scope and scale required for working within complex regulatory and legislative frameworks while managing changes related to Board priorities and community needs identified in annual service planning.
For 2018, revenue from sale of services make up nearly half (47%) of the CRD’s operating revenue, while requisition makes up approximately 26%. The balance is funded from a variety of other revenue sources including grants, reserves and municipal flow-through debt payments.
Financial plans are the products of a rigorous strategic, corporate and financial planning process spanning many months, starting in May of the preceding year. Service plans drive the financial planning process and provide necessary information to evaluate overall organizational requirements, new initiatives, proposed service levels and implications for the budget and financial plan.
Various external forces influence the CRD Financial Plan including inflation, interest rate changes and utility costs such as electricity, natural gas, and fuel. Impacts on CRD activity include the need for new capital investment, infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, and a continued focus on maintaining service levels while advancing Board priorities.
Under the direction provided by the Board, the Electoral Area Services Committee reviews and recommends all electoral area-only service budgets, including the review of local service budgets for services such as water, wastewater, community parks and fire protection. This process includes a significant amount of work undertaken by many commissioners who volunteer their services in the Southern Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island and Juan de Fuca electoral areas.
To review details, please visit www.crd.bc.ca/about/financial-accountability/budget-in-brief
The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications