RDEK approves five year financial plan

The board of directors approved the budget at their last meeting

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has adopted its five year financial plan for the 2020-2024 period.

With an operating budget of about $33.9 million for 2020, most residents can expect to see a tax increase. Although the increase will depend on location, the average increase will be around 4.6 per cent. After announcing the financial plan, the RDEK reminded residents that “there is a difference between the numbers in the budget and the effect those numbers will have on individual taxes.”

The increase in tax will vary depending on which municipality residents are in and what services are offered. According to the RDEK, residential properties will see approximately a $12 overall increase on their tax levy based on an assessment of $345,000. Tax calculations are expected to be completed by early April once the 2020 revised assessed values are available.

“Unlike a municipality that has one boundary and one set of taxpayers, different areas of RDEK require different services and these are paid for only by the taxpayers of each specific service area,” chair of the RDEK Board of Directors, Rob Gay explained. He went on to add that the tax impacts of this financial plan range from a decrease for properties in the City of Fernie to larger increases in the Columbia Valley.

The total capital budget for 2020 has been set at approximately $12 million and includes several large scale projects. This will include the Hill Road dike project in Electoral Area A, as well as the construction of septage ponds in Area B.

The board of directors for the RDEK also highlighted some other important things happening in 2020 in a press release. There are plans to establish Waldo Cove Park in Area B as well as some archaeological mapping in the Area A flood control service boundary.

“I would like to thank staff, the Board and the many other stakeholders who have been working for months on preparing this plan,” said Gay. “As a board and a region, we are always mindful of the need to provide quality services to our taxpayers while balancing the tax impacts. I believe we have maintained that balance in this budget.”



editor@thefreepress.ca

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