Electoral Area B is now sitting at an estimated total requisition of $1,825,385 an increase of $170,062 over 2021, as per the member summary presented to the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors on Dec. 14. The general services tax cost per $100,000 is set at $94.06. The regional parcel tax for regional parks and drinking water and watershed protection is $20 and $14, respectively. In total that is an increase of $9.90 per $100,000.
Legislative service, the drinking water protection parcel tax, regional parks operations and solid waste management represent an increase of $46,733 for Area B. The area’s contribution to District 68 emergency 911 has gone down $9,126 due to a transfer of operations to Surrey. The southern community recreation facilities/sports field agreement contribution has gone up $15,140 and the amount paid to Vancouver Island Regional Library is up $8,366. Other services, including electoral area administration, southern economic development and community parks represent an increase of $108,949.
At the board meeting, Area B Director Vanessa Craig appealed to her fellow directors to reconsider voting in favour of removing $98,000 in professional fees, $40,000 of which was slated for a housing strategy within the Regional Growth Strategy, as was passed at the previous week’s committee of the whole.
“The series of reports that we received [previously] outline the problem,” Craig said. “This one is going to say, we’ve received the reports of the problem, what are some potential solutions that we could choose to act on,” adding the fees were approved for use in 2021 but staff were unable to get to the work in the current year.
Craig acknowledged the provincial and federal responsibility that directors who voted for the removal of fees brought up, but argued the district would be equipped to tackle “specific issues” at a local level if the fees were retained.
“We have access to sufficient studies relevant to do this,” Area E Director Bob Rogers, who introduced the motion at the committee of the whole, countered. “We can take a look at those in 2022 as far as what’s appropriate to do.”
The board adopted the amended 2022-26 financial plan; however, final review is scheduled for February.
Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder