The qathet regional district (qRD) finance committee received a second draft of the regional district’s 2022-2026 financial plan at a meeting on December 8.
CFO Linda Greenan presented the draft, which highlighted financial plan assumptions, 2022 Community Works Fund contributions and allocations, capital plan highlights and changes in the requisitions of the town of Powell River and electoral districts in 2022.
Greenan said there had been an adjustment from the first draft budget. She said there was an original assumption of a 3.5% increase in the Consumer Price Index, but now there is a projection of 2.3 and 2.8%. Operating costs are expected to be a two to three percent increase over most costs, according to Greenan.
The bulk of the regional $ 13 million capital plan will be spent on waste management, site closure and resource recovery center amounting to $ 11.3 million in 2022/2023 and spending waste transfer amounting to $ 4.4 million. The residual materials management budget will consist of a subsidy of $ 3.1 million, $ 11.3 million in loans and $ 715,000 in reserves.
Regarding the change of requisition of 2022, in the city it is 16.92%; Electoral zone A is 8.35%; Savary Island is 9.21%; Electoral zone B is 8.99%; Electoral zone C is 9.17%; Electoral district D is 9.04%; and the electoral zone E is 5.57 percent. In terms of the tax rate per $ 100,000 of assessed value in 2022, in the city, it’s $ 84.68; Zone A costs $ 362.46; Savary costs $ 211.17; Zone B is $ 248.03; Area C is $ 257.55; Zone D costs $ 251.85; and Area E is $ 268.78.
The annual cost per average home, projecting the 2021 average home value of $ 374,642.03 through 2022, in the city would be $ 317.26; Zone A would be $ 1,357.93; Savary Island would cost $ 791.13; Zone B would be $ 929.89; Area C would be $ 964.89; Zone D would be $ 943.54; and electoral zone E would be $ 1,006.97.
The final version of the budget will be presented to the finance committee on February 16, 2022, and the regional council is expected to consider final adoption on February 24, 2022.
The manager asks about the surplus
Electoral Zone D manager Sandy McCormick asked about the use of the surplus, which she says will go to reserves rather than being used to reduce the 2022 requisition.
“What would be the impact on our budget if we were to change this direction and use the surpluses to reduce requisition needs for next year?” McCormick asked. “I’m afraid this requisition is way too high. “
Greenan said the budget process deliberately tries not to use reserves year after year.
“We are trying to use the reserves more in a planned way so that the budget demands do not go up one year and go down the next,” Greenan added. “We try to keep them fairly consistent.”
McCormick asked about the impact of contributing these surpluses to the operating budget for a year to try to reduce the requisition because it is “so high.”
Greenan said there may be requisition cuts using the surpluses, but the regional district needs to catch up at some point or find a way to reduce the cost of services in the long run.
McCormick asked if there was a way to reduce the amount that all regional district residents had to pay for waste management.
“This appears to be the main driver of the tax increase,” McCormick said. “We have to find a way to reduce this requisition because people are going to be incredibly unhappy with this kind of increase when it’s been a tough year for everyone.”
Greenan said the waste management plan was developed with the communities and the budget supports the waste management plan.
“It would be difficult to reduce that without going back and figuring out how we’re going to change the waste management plan,” Greenan said. “We’ve increased the tip fees to try to get funds through tip fees and we’re also trying to reduce the amount of garbage we send.
“The only thing about this plan is that once the Resource Recovery Center is in place, we should see lower costs. It is difficult to manage the budget without an increase.
City manager and finance committee chair George Doubt said the biggest increase for the resource recovery center was the start of debt payment. Greenan said it was okay. Doubt said there was not much that could be done to pay off long term debt.
Greenan said that in 2022, the regional district will have its first interest payments on the debt for the center, which stands at $ 385,000.
The finance committee unanimously adopted a recommendation that the regional board receive the second draft of the draft financial plan for 2022 to 2026.
The committee also voted to recommend that council allocate $ 30,000 of community works funds in the general administration budget for the expected cost of developing the asset condition assessment and building replacement costs. .
The committee voted to recommend that council allocate an additional $ 25,000 of community works funds in the Lund Sewer Budget to cover the cost of a Lund Sewer Wastewater Master Plan.