Published: February 23, 2022
Beginning of the consultation on the five-year financial plan of the RDEK
After completing his first exam of the draft 2022-2026 financial plan, the East Kootenay Regional District (RDEK) Board of Directors now hopes to gather feedback from residents.
“The public comment period will end before our next board meeting and I encourage all East Kootenay residents to visit the project page, learn more about the draft plan and how it will affect you” , said the chairman of the board of directors of the RDEK and the electoral zone. C Director Rob Gay.
“The budgeting process begins in September with RDEK staff, and there have been meetings with directors, stakeholders, commissions and more that have helped inform this draft plan. While these meetings will continue over the next few weeks, we also want to hear from the public and hear the community’s opinion on our projects and services and the potential impact on property taxes.
The financial plan describes how taxpayers’ money is spent on the more than 100 services offered in the RDEK. There are a number of items of note in this year’s budget including capital projects such as improvements to the Fairmont Flood & Debris Control Cold Spring Creek, improvements to the Windermere water distribution system , solid waste transfer stations for Invermere and Radium, the implementation of the RDEK HR Plan, a new Hosmer fire station and the construction of a composting facility in each of the three RDEK sub-regions.
The 2022 operating budget proposal proposes a 4.6% increase over last year, which equates to about $14 on an average residential assessment of $462,000. This includes a 1.7% reduction from the compensation for new assessments in the region.
It is important to remember that in the RDEK model, municipalities and electoral areas are all affected differently depending on the RDEK services they receive. The 2022 operating budget is $38.2 million and the capital budget is just over $8.8 million.
“Year after year, this council and our staff work diligently to find a balance between providing quality services to our residents and considering tax impacts. As service level expectations increase and the region continues to grow and evolve, this task becomes all the more difficult and I am proud of the balance we have achieved in the draft service plan. this year,” added Gay. “Having public feedback is an important next step in the process and we look forward to gathering their feedback over the coming weeks.
The public comment period is open until noon on Monday, March 7.
Copies of the plan and comment forms are available at engage.rdek.bc.ca/budget and on request from RDEK offices in Cranbrook and Columbia Valley. The RDEK will release a budget “snapshot” this week that provides a condensed overview of the draft plan and some of the highlights for 2022.
The five-year financial plan is expected to be adopted at the March 11 board meeting.