The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Area D held its annual town meeting to discuss this year’s proposed budget, the five-year financial plan and how the RDKB operates.
Held on Feb. 27 at the Seniors’ Centre at City Park, residents of Area D (rural Grand Forks) and interested parties were in attendance.
Introduced by Area D Director Irene Perepolkin, the town hall meeting was led by John MacLean, RDKB chief administrative officer.
The current budget figures are only proposed and will be determined at the end of March.
For recreation program services, the 2011 actual budget used was $365,266 with $365,266 spent. The 2012 budget is targeted at $432,674.
The Boundary Museum service has been kept at a steady $30,000, while the Grand Forks Arena may see an increase in its budget from $540,788 to $647,890.
The Grand Forks curling rink may also see a slight increase in funds from $35,529 to $40,869, as might the Boundary’s animal control from $110,862 to $117,874.
On the other hand, the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre may see a decrease in funding from $740,611 to $718,902.
Mosquito control for Area D and Grand Forks might go from $159,402 to $100,768.
In terms of noxious weed control in Areas D and E, the budget may decrease from $199,385 to $191,616.
The regional library service may also see an increase in funding, from $293,233 in 2011 to $355,331 in 2012.
In terms of the Boundary area’s transit service, there is expected to be an increase in funds from $57,544 to $70,020. In 2011, Area D’s grant-in-aid spent $42,781 towards groups and organizations. The projected budget for 2012 is $53,140.
In the five-year finance plan, MacLean noted the most important year is the first year because the remaining four are likely to change as the year progresses.
If there is a deficit in a service, for instance, the first thing that must be done the following year is to pay back the deficit, he stated. If there is a surplus, there are several options.
“The default position is that it goes into the following year’s revenue. So if we had a $10,000 surplus in 2011, we put $10,000 in 2012 as revenue and it reduces taxation,” explained MacLean. “Or, alternatively, the board has the opportunity to take those monies and put it into a reserve.”
This year the animal control contract with Good Governance Solutions will be taken into consideration as the contract is soon to expire.
The RDKB will also be rewriting the animal control bylaw, which is considered dated, to include different aspects like barking.
“The primary concern was barking, and we are looking into it,” stated MacLean.
The City of Grand Forks is covered under the RDKB bylaw, though there were complaints to have a separate bylaw for the city.
Residents also brought up issues with local trails and its maintenance.
Currently, projects that the RDKB is working on include the Woodstove Exchange Program, the Kettle/ Granby River Study, Food Scrap Recycling Program, branding, signage (which is found along the highway indicating what region you are in) and the regional chamber.
Area C’s meeting is scheduled for Christina Lake tonight, Feb. 29, at the community hall at 6:30 p.m.