The Regional District of East Kootenay has adopted its Financial Plan for the years 2009-2013.
Operating revenue and expenses for the 2009 year of the Financial Plan are set at $26.9 million, down from just over $30 million in 2008. “We are pleased to see an overall decrease in the budget this year,” says RDEK Board Chair Norm Walter. “Recognizing the difficult economic times we are experiencing, The Board and staff worked very hard to bring forward a budget that controls costs without sacrificing service levels.”
The primary reason for the nearly $4 million dollar reduction is that last year’s budget included two multi-million dollar landfill closure projects. In spite of the overall decrease in the 2009 budget, residents of the RDEK will be affected differently, depending on the municipality or electoral area in which they live. On average, rural residential properties in the RDEK will see approximately a one to two percent overall increase in their tax levy. Area C will see a slight decrease while Elk Valley Solid Waste costs will contribute to a nearly 11% increase for Electoral Area A.
“Different areas of the RDEK require different services and these are paid for only by the taxpayers of that area,” explains Walter. “It’s also important to keep in mind that even though there may be slight increases in the requisition amount, new development in most of the region will offset some of that impact on taxpayers.”
Tax calculations are expected to be complete by early-April when 2009 revised assessed values are available.
Highlights in the 2009 budget include the new Local Conservation Fund in the Columbia Valley and construction of a new Fernie Transfer Station.
The 5-Year Plan for 2009-2013 was formally adopted by the RDEK Board on Friday, March 6, 2009.