December 2, 2022

Donalds Hobby

World Finance Reviews

qathet Regional District passes budget

At the February 24 regional board meeting, qathet Regional District (qRD) board of directors adopted the 2022 operating and capital budgets and 2022 to 2026 five-year financial plan. According to a media release, qRD is statutorily obligated to adopt its annual operating and capital budgets by March 31 of each year.

“If this vote carries, this will be the earliest I remember a financial plan being adopted in my almost 20 years [on the regional board],” said Electoral Area A director and board chair Patrick Brabazon, before adoption of the plan.

Electoral Area E director Andrew Fall said he wanted to thank the financial staff for starting the process early.

“We had more drafts than we’ve had in previous years and yet we’re still adopting it early,” said Fall. “It’s good to do it this way.”

Brabazon said staff and regional board can be proud of this issue.

The budgets and financial plan were carried unanimously by the regional board at the meeting.

According to the media release, the 2022 budget will operate on a total of $29 million. This represents a net operating budget for the year of $12.6 million, total capital spending of $14.3 million, and total debt payments and transfers to reserves of $2.2 million. qRD has applied for and obtained total grant funding of $4.1 million to assist with many planned projects, the release stated.

Projects planned for 2022 include: continuation and expansion of the regional FireSmart program; continuation of coastal flood mapping for the islands; continued design and initiation of construction for the resource-recovery centre; completion of the northside fire hall training centre; acquisition of 2022 aerial imagery for internal use and online mapping; development of a water refill station for Malaspina fire protection service; replacement of a fire engine for Savary Island fire protection service; upgrades to the Myrtle Pond water infrastructure; installation of wildlife fencing for Texada Island airport; and installation of a wastewater monitoring system for the Lund sewer service.

“This year’s budget reflects our collective efforts at the board table to provide high-quality services without substantial cost increases to our taxpayers,” stated Brabazon. “Our dedicated staff continue to offset rising costs with successful grant applications and create service efficiencies whenever possible.” 

The 2022 to 2026 five-year financial plan outlays all regional district services as well as projects identified by the regional board as priorities. qRD currently provides 46 services to the residents of the region, which includes five electoral areas and City of Powell River.

Taxation changes

According to statistics released by qRD manager of financial services Linda Greenan, at the February 16 finance committee meeting, the average home value in the regional district rose from $374,642.03 in 2021 to $516,654.95 in 2022.

For the city, the change in taxation from 2021 to 2022 is 12.29 per cent. The taxation cost per average home in 2022 will be $322.54, up $51.20 over 2021.

In Electoral Area A, the total requisition change from 2021 to 2022 is -4.25 per cent. The taxation cost per average home in 2022 is $1,406.02, up 121.13 over 2021.

In Electoral Area B, the change from 2021 to 2022 is 9.31 per cent. The taxation cost per average home in 2022 is $933.02, up $78.69 over 2021.

In Electoral Area C, the change from 2021 to 2022 is 5.36 per cent. The taxation cost per average house in 2022 is $972.67, up $87.02 over 2021.

In Electoral Area D, the change from 2021 to 2022 is 7.56 per cent. The taxation cost per average house in 2022 is $1,027.43, up $162.09 over 2021.

For more information on the five-year financial plan and annual budgets, go to qathet.ca/finance/financial-plan.