CRD directors ask staff to trim proposed budget increase

Langford Coun. Denise Blackwell questions roughly five per cent bump

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

Langford Coun. Denise Blackwell is asking the number crunchers at the Capital Regional District to go back to the drawing board.

At Wednesday’s meeting, CRD staff proposed a nearly five per cent increase in the budget for shared regional services, which includes regional planning, parks, governance and more.

Blackwell, Langford’s director on the CRD board, asked that staff take another look at ways to reduce the budget.

She wants to see the budget keep more in line with the cost of living increase, or around two per cent. “I felt 4.85 was too high, and asked staff to give us options to where we can bring it to a more reasonable level. When I come to the table it’s as as a CRD director, not a Langford councillor. While the increase may be minimal for Langford after sewage treatment is included, I want to find something that’s more equitable for everyone.”

The majority of directors supported Blackwell’s motion, and sent the budget back to staff to try to find a two per cent reduction. View Royal Mayor David Screech, however took issue with the decision.

“Staff work very hard to present a budget that represents what the CRD needs,” he said. “When staff has presented the best budget, I think it’s our job as directors to identify where the cuts need to be made. To me, this proposal is all about optics. I have no problem with the proposed increase.”

Screech noted that out of the proposed increase of nearly $43 for View Royal residents, $35 of that is for sewage treatment. “We can’t do anything about that,” he added.

Screech said the increase in part was aimed at providing more bylaw enforcement in parks, which he appreciates, especially considering the issues that arise at Thetis Lake Park during the summer months. “It also includes funding for extra staff to provide additional financial oversight. Given the size of the CRD budget, that only makes sense.”

Screech also had concerns with the budget dipping into the CRD’s reserve fund to address the cost of regional planning strategies, rather than providing that funding from requisitions. “Generally in terms of municipal budgets, you never finance operating costs from a reserve budget,” he said.

The CRD’s total 2017 operating budget was $221 million, which saw an eight per cent increase from 2016.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

CRD

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

Police investigating string of break-ins at closed Saanich care home

Electronics, tools reported stolen from Mount Tolmie Hospital

Laid-off hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

Laid-off workers not sure what they’ll do when government support programs end

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read