Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has approved a provisional Financial Plan for 2020 at the October 30th Committee of the Whole and Board meetings. Several amendments were approved at the meeting, including a new approach to administering the highly successful Land Acquisition Fund, with an additional $925,000 each year for capital reserves to fund the refurbishment and replacement of existing assets, as well as $150,000 per year for three years for the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness and $40,000 for the establishment of an advisory committee whose goal is to develop a Mountain Biking Policy for CRD Parks. Public consultation on the provisional Financial Plan will begin once budget documents have been updated to reflect these amendments and are available for public review.
The Financial Plan incorporates the delivery of work and execution of priorities and initiatives that were identified in the first year of a four year planning cycle for the CRD. Approval of the provisional Financial Plan enables the organization to effectively deploy resources needed to maintain core service delivery and advance capital projects required to support development and population growth across the region.
The 2020 Financial Plan has been developed based on the resources required for delivery of core services, the impact of new initiatives, proposed capital programs, and other cost pressures such as inflation and contractual agreements. It is influenced by continued growth and activity in our region, demonstrated by an increased demand for investment in priorities to address community needs. The CRD is transitioning from major capital spending to operation of new infrastructure, as shown in the core area wastewater treatment project, water operations and regional housing. These community assets come with a need for operating budgets as well as investment in systems for reporting and administering increased activity. Federal and provincial funding have been leveraged to build these assets where possible.
New FTEs (Full-Time Equivalents) are needed to support long term priorities and community needs such as wastewater operations, regional housing, governance and transparency initiatives, integrated water services and natural land protection. While every effort is being made to keep costs down, each municipality and electoral area in the region will be impacted differently by these new investments and proposals.
The CRD, Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) and Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) financial plans combine to form a consolidated budget. The proposed consolidated operating portion ($334 million) will pay for a range of regional services and sub-services to over 413,000 people in the region. In addition, the proposed consolidated capital portion targets $411 million in projects. The provisional Financial Plan is unique for each municipality, electoral area and First Nation as each participates in a different set of services.
The operating portion of the provisional CRD Financial Plan pays for the daily business of the CRD, including labour, supplies, programs, services and repayment of debt for major projects. For 2020, the operating portion includes revenues and expenditures of $278 million, an increase of $16 million or 6.2% compared to the 2019 CRD Financial Plan. This increase supports Board and corporate priorities from the new four year strategic plan approved with initiatives targeting community needs.
For 2020, revenue from sale of services comprises nearly half (48%) of the CRD’s operating revenue, while requisitions make up approximately 26%. The balance is funded from a variety of other revenue sources including grants.
The capital portion of the provisional CRD Financial Plan pays for new and enhanced infrastructure. This includes acquisition of buildings and facilities, as well as construction and upgrades to assets. For 2020, the capital portion includes revenues and expenditures of $360 million, a decrease of $24 million (6.1%) compared to the 2019 CRD Financial Plan.
Highlights of significant capital projects include:
- The Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project remains on schedule with all main components under construction to deliver treated wastewater by the end of 2020. This includes the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment plant in Esquimalt, the Residuals Treatment Facility at Hartland Landfill, and upgrades to the conveyance system.
- Additional sanitary sewer projects for 2020 include rehabilitation of trunk sewer in the Core Area Sewer system and the Saanich Peninsula Wastewater service
- Renewing and improving drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for the region’s urban centres and local service areas continues in 2020. Key projects include continued dam safety improvements within the Regional Water Supply Service and pipe replacements and upgrades in the Juan de Fuca Water Distribution Service.
- 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.
- Construction is anticipated in 2020 for the Southern Gulf Islands Small Craft Harbours Facilities and the South Galiano Fire Hall, which was approved through referendum in 2019.
- Implementation of the Regional Housing First Program continues in 2020 with over 900 units of affordable housing complete or under construction. The program targets up to 2,000 units of affordable housing that will be under construction or complete by December 31, 2021.
- Panorama Recreation Centre is moving forward with an energy recovery project with a total budget of $2.85 million, with direction to staff to pursue all possible funding opportunities. Panorama is projected to see an 80% (351 tons) reduction in total GHG emissions produced.
The 2020 CRHD Provisional Budget anticipates reductions in tax requisition of 4.4% starting in 2020 due to an active debt management strategy and annual lease payments of $4.3 million commencing for The Summit at Quadra Village, a 320-unit long term care facility, which is expected to be operational in early 2020. The CRHD Financial Plan includes $29.5 million for continued development of health-related infrastructure. Major projects planned for CRHD in 2020 include the Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre, enhancements to Victoria Primary Care and the Beacon Community Services Expansion Project.
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 planning drives the financial planning process and provides necessary information to evaluate overall organizational requirements, new initiatives, proposed service levels and implications for the budget and financial plan.
Through Board direction, the Electoral Area Committee reviews and recommends all electoral area-only service budgets, including the review of Local Service Commission budgets. 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.
For more information and to provide feedback, please visit the Budget in Brief.
Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, 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