A widely inclusive financial plan for 2020 has officially been set in place for the Capital Regional District.
This year, the CRD, Capital Regional Hospital District, and the Capital Regional Housing District joined forces with their financial plans, which will allow the groups to be more strategic with funding resources and support initiatives.
The combined fund plans are said to be unique for each municipality, electoral area and First Nation, but the “consolidated operating portion” equaling $340 million, will support a variety of regional, sub-regional and local services.
The operational portion includes paying for the daily business of the CRD, including labour, supplies, programs, services and repayment of debt for major projects. This balance is funded from multiple sources, nearly half being comprised from sales of services, 25 per cent comes from requisitions, and other revenue sources such as grants.
An additional $449 million from the combined budgets is aimed towards funding local projects.
The capital section of this year’s financial plan, totalling $360 million, was decreased by 6.3 per cent, or $24 million, as compared to 2019. This portion of the budget is aimed towards new or improving infrastructure.
Despite the decrease, a variety of initiatives are still planned to enhance communities. Some projects noted in a press release by the CRD include a water treatment project by the end of 2020, additional sewer projects plans to improve drinking water, managing natural areas such as parks and trails, and construction for the Southern Gulf Islands Small Craft Harbours Facilities.
Other projects involve an energy recovery project on the Panorama Recreation Centre, costing $2.85 million, construction on the South Galiano Fire Hall, as well as a Regional Housing First Program, which will create 400 housing units to be rented at $375 a month.