Director's Corner - Aimee Watson

Update from RDCK Director Aimee Watson, March 16

Well as life as we know is changing fast and in ways we are not quite sure what they will look like, some things are continuing as planned. Here for your reading pleasure are this months agendas for Rural Affairs, Joint Resource Recovery and Board. Below the links is my Directors update which includes our proposed direction on Lardeau Park. 

Rural Affairs:…/Admin…/Documents/2020-03-18-RAC_Agenda.pdf

Joint Resource:…/Wast…/Documents/2020-03-18_JRRC_Agenda.pdf


Directors Report March 2020
1. Budget 2020
As many have read in the recent Valley Voice, we are amid our annual budget road show. This is when we bring the DRAFT RDCK budget to the residents. We walk through how taxation works, services you have and details on proposed needs for the year. Unfortunately, there were a few errors in the article.  
For one, yes, we are still in DRAFT form. March of every year is when the budget is approved by the board. The process starts in September. With 187 services and many of them having commissions and committees, it’s a long process!
We present the budget to the public so you, as the taxpayer, understand how taxes are determined and where they are being used. This does provide opportunity for feedback but no, not all feedback can be incorporated into the final. This year’s presentation walked through the increasing mandated roles of local government that come from other orders of govt; traditionally known as downloading and they are a significant portion of increases for 2020. These requirements are rarely negotiable.
The other misunderstanding was the number reported as the proposed increase to taxation for 2020. The VV provided the % increase of total funds raised, not the rate of taxation. The increase in total funds raised is not straight across what the increase is to the resident, assessment is also a part of that equation. 
Assessment is the total value of land holdings in a region. This includes all aspects to property value and with new builds, construction occurs, property values go up and the total assessment for a region increases. 
In 2020, Area D’s assessment is: $43,386,654  
In 2019 it was: $40,784,793 an increase of 6.38%
The Assessment is what is used to determine the rate per thousand that each resident pays for services. 
TO determine taxation at the RD, we do not due flat percentage rates, we determine the cost needed to deliver a service and then divide that total by the assessment available. This gives us rate per thousand and thus sets the tax rate. 
In Area D, you have 17-21 services. For a full list and details on each, please contact me. 
Total for all 17 that every resident in Area D participates in is $673, 979. Divide that by the total assessment (43,386,654) and the rate per thousand in 2020 is $1.55/$1000. The provincial fee is then added, bringing it to $1.63
For those with the additional services; water, fire, library and mosquito- the rate per thousand will be higher. 
In 2019 total cost for services in Area D was $588,554 with a rate per thousand of $1.44+ province=$1.51. An increase of 8.5%
This second number is what you use to determine your actual taxation for the year. Take your assessed value, $250,000, you would times 250 x 1.53= $407.50. That is what you would be paying in 2020. In 2019, it would have been $377.50. This is an increase of 8% to a $250,000 home. Still high, but not 14% which is the TOTAL amount raised. 
So now that no one is still reading this….
What are the big drivers for increases in 2020?
Due to increased responsibilities:
– Recreation: WorkSafe standards
– Fire Services: Office of the Fire Commissioner sets requirements on Fire Training, WorkSafe BC
– Emergency Management BC –Emergency Programming Impact; the Emergency Program Modernization will have further implications, set to be announced in the fall of 2020 as well as changes to the Wildfire Program
– Resource Recovery – Recycle BC impact on recycling costs and WorkSafe 
Shared Services (Kaslo and Area D both participate) with increases:
– Fire Services (increasing remuneration for fire fighters) 
– Economic Development (chamber support, housing society, north Kootenay Lake rural revitalization project)

2. Lardeau Park
I want to start by thanking everyone who participated in the consultation process. The last consultation round in 2015/2016 resulted in such little feedback, that Mayor Hewat and I could not move forward without considering an enhanced public engagement process. This time, you participated! Many times! Being engaged in your local services is democracy at its core, kudos team D! and Kaslo!
Now, the challenge is to ensure that public concerns and aspirations are understood and considered in the plan. Mayor Hewat and I met and went through ALL of the consultation, together we agreed to put forward a management plan for Lardeau Park with the following amenities:
– No wharf
– Simple design, some capital works; bathroom, move road off foreshore, parking adjustments, 2 picnic tables 1 bench and an accessibility path connecting these amenities.
– Potential for expansion into the remaining crown area between Lardeau and Davis Creek; if so, it will also be simple amenities 
– No camping, day use

The Lardeau Park plan will be on the RDCK board agenda for April 16th. The plan includes consideration of all consultation received during the process and this is when the board will be able to review all input received. Final decision on the Lardeau Plan becoming an operational document for the RDCK will be made by the Regional Board at this meeting. However, the plan is a guiding document. The phases are intended to show a progression of actions, but when and how much each costs are not set in stone. All actions will be subject to available funds. We intend to use as much grant funding as we can for capital works and redevelopment phases, these funds are not set aside through taxation in advance. 

3. Road to Kaslo Transfer Station responsibility 
Well I must admit I was wrong! I was asked about who was responsible for road management to the Kaslo Transfer Station and since the road was annexed into the Village a few years ago, I assumed it was the Village. This is partially true. There is a shared road agreement between the Village and the RDCK, the Village manages it in the summer and RDCK contract out management in the winter months. 
With that, here are the contacts should you have concerns with the road:
Winter: The RDCK at 250-352-6665 or 1-800-268-RDCK (7325)
Summer: The Village of Kaslo at 250-353-2311

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