Regional District of East Kootenay Draft 5-Year Financial Plan Open for Review

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors is seeking public comment on its draft five-year financial plan

A graphic detailing how tax dollars are spent on different services.

The Financial Plan lays out how tax dollars are being spent on the more than 100 services offered in the RDEK. — Photo courtesy Regional District of East Kootenay

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors is seeking public comment on its draft five-year financial plan.

“The budget process at the RDEK is a detailed one and was started by staff back in October,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “The RDEK Board has had its first review and staff will continue to meet with Directors, other municipalities, and various commissions over the coming weeks. As part of this wider consultation, we want to hear from residents and property owners and encourage them to get a copy or contact our Financial Services Department to ask questions or learn about more specifics.”

The Financial Plan lays out how tax dollars are being spent on the more than 100 services offered in the RDEK. There are a number of items to note in this year’s budget including the first full year of operations for the East Side Lake Windermere Water Service, Windermere Water Upgrade project, Edgewater Water confined space upgrades and fire flow monitoring, safety upgrades at Rosen Lake Water Control structure, Hill Road Dike project, construction of septage ponds in Area B, a new fire truck for the Edgewater Fire Department, and new tenders for the Windermere and Fairmont fire departments.

The draft 2019 operating budget proposes a 4.2% increase over last year. A 1.3% increase in new assessment in the region will help offset the overall impact. It is important to remember in the RDEK model, municipalities and electoral areas are all affected differently depending which RDEK services they receive.

The 2019 operating budget is $32.5 million and the capital budget is $9,034,517.

“We have worked hard to balance the provision of services and tax impacts. The Plan will come back before the Board next month and we encourage people to let us know their thoughts through the public comment period,” says RDEK Chair Rob Gay. The public comment period is open until NOON on Monday, March 4, 2019. Copies of the plan and comment forms are available on the RDEK’s website and through its Cranbrook and Invermere offices. The RDEK will be posting a budget “snapshot” this week that provides a condensed overview.

The 5-Year Financial Plan is expected to be adopted at the March Board Meeting.

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