The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) says its five-year plan is adopted and will see a 10.38 per cent property tax requisition revenue increase from last year.
Adopted on Thursday, the plan includes a total consolidated budget for this year of $173.8 million. That is broken down into $91.9 million for operating and $81.9 million for capital projects.
An additional $3 million will be a part of the property tax requisitions for this year to maintain existing CVRD services:
- An additional $1 million for recreational complex service to support aging infrastructure needs and give preliminary planning funding for future capital infrastructure
- An additional $460,000 increase to support fire hall replacements and operational increases for rural fire and search and rescue services
- $450,000 to support a rise in operational costs and expansion of transit services
- $200,000 in one-time support for affordable housing projects on both Denman and Hornby Island
- $175,000 for increased cost allocations from the rural areas to support the Vancouver Island Regional Library District
- $118,500 to support additional recreation grants in 2023 such as $75,000 for further capital works to the Courtenay and District Outdoor Memorial pool and $18,000 for the development of a cricket pitch for the Comox Valley Cricket Club.
- $70,000 to support additional requests for capital funding to address homelessness
The CVRD adds that unlike municipalities, they cannot collect property taxes directly but requisitions the funds from each member local government on behalf of their residents. The province issues and collects rural property taxes in each of the electoral areas, according to the district.
Two new local service areas have been created in 2023. They include the Graham Lake Improvement District that brings potable water to 67 properties on Denman Island. The second is the regional parks and trails service, to protect and preserve regionally significant natural areas and develop greenways and trails.
Chair Jesse Ketler says the district also included a new carbon policy.
“New to the financial planning process this year was incorporation of our internal cost of carbon policy to help reduce our carbon footprint corporately and dedicate $160 per one tonne of CO2e into a reserve account to fund future projects,” said Ketler.
“Setting an internal cost for carbon is going to help us prioritize low-carbon options, avoid climate-related risks and set up on the path of achieving net zero corporate emissions by 2050.”
The district says the capital funds for this year provide financing to continue progression. They say there are $205 million in planned capital projects across the five-year plan including:
- $1.7 million this year to construct the new fire rescue services building at Mount Washington.
- $45 million in 2023 for the Comox Valley sewer conveyance project
- $5 million in 2023 for the proposed extension of the Comox Valley water system southward to parts of Courtenay, Royston and other lands.
- $5.7 million to complete cell No. 2 of the engineered landfill at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre in Cumberland
- $1.99 million to complete the Regional Organics Composting Facility located in Campbell River
The projects are in addition to the regular services from the CVRD, which include land use planning, fire protection, electoral areas parks and greenways, building inspection, drinking water treatment and supply and operation of the waste management centres and recreation facilities.
For more information about the districts five-year plan, you can visit https://www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/currentbudget.