The good news in the Regional District of Central Kootenay is that a $1.5 million surplus from 2013 means no increase in taxes for the next two years for RDCK residents.
And RDCK chair John Kettle is “elated.”
Kettle credits the surplus to the integration of new accounting services delivered by Chief Financial Officer Stuart Horn, who brought his auditing skills to the regional district last year.
“We have nothing to increase taxes for, we are living within our means,” said Kettle.
“It’s a fair thing, we will watch over taxpayers’ money,” Kettle said.
He said that the recently announced decision that the RDCK will continue to deliver its $1 million recycling program will not affect the 2014 budget.
“We never took the recycling costs out,” said Kettle, referring to the Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC) recycling program that RDCK will not be joining in May.
“That program was designed to fail. It has been proven that it certainly is failing in the rural areas.”
Kettle will be delivering that message and asking for money when he is in Victoria Monday.
But the not so good news is that the RDCK will have to spend $4.5 million on aquatic centre repairs, a price tag that is being financed over a five-year period.
According to the RDCK, an overhaul of the pool’s aging mechanical system is 20 years overdue. The aging and loosened tiles in the pool basin and on the pool deck are of “paramount concern”.
Residents are being asked for their input on pool repairs and other services such as child- minding options, cycling and walking rails and sports fields encompassed in the newly released Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
Public meetings to discuss the much needed pool repairs and other recommendations in the Master Plan are slated for this spring.
“Public meetings are an opportunity for the community to discuss and reassess priorities for recreational programming and for the maintenance of indoor and outdoor facilities, “ said General Manager of Community Services Joe Chirico.
The venues will soon be announced.
The board adopted the 2014-2018 Financial Plan at the March 20 board meeting---a budget that shows a 1.4 percent combined decrease in taxation to the general and rural administration services for 2014.
The 2014 RDCK budget is approximately $60 million.
The Financial Plan may be viewed on the RDCK website at www.rdck.ca by March 31.