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

Just Posted

UPDATED: Early morning crash on Sooke Road causes traffic delays

The road has now been cleared of two incidents from Thursday morning

Greater Victoria not out of the woods when it comes to bear safety

Conservation receives 1,000-plus calls for bear sightings annually

Homeless campers of Namegans Nation head to Oak Bay

Roughly 30 members of roving tent city settle at Cattle Point in Uplands Wednesday

Sooke school registrations increase

New schools are needed but funding slow to come

Watch: Saanich responds to mock emergency for ammonia Leak

Hazmat suits, emergency centre respond to mock ammonia leak

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Manhunt in Crimea for possible accomplice in school attack

An 18-year-old student, who later killed himself, was initially believed to be the only one involved

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

Police in Canada posted a photo of a $215 ticket given to someone who allegedly had a baggy of marijuana in their car

Great British Columbia ShakeOut earthquake drill reminder

Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the Great ShakeOut

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

VIDEO: Courtenay marks legalization by passing out free joints

Leaf Compassion celebrates new marijuana law in Courtenay

Most Read