Regional District of Nanaimo sets schedule for 2018 budget

New five-year financial plan under development

The regional district has begun preparing its 2018 budget and five-year financial plan.

The preliminary budget for next year was received by the Regional District of Nanaimo board at its committee of the whole meeting on Sept. 12. The board also approved the proposed schedule of public meetings and approval process for the five-year financial plan from 2018 to 2022.

This year’s budget preparations will include the use of the interactive, web-based “Bang the Table” tool to allow for feedback by the public outside of the formal meeting process.

The 2018 budget for each of the service areas will be presented for approval by the board in November and December. It will be available on the RDN website starting Nov 15. A special committee of the whole meeting will be held Nov. 28 to review the 2018 budget and business plans before the board approves it on Dec. 12.

The five-year financial plan is expected to be completed for bylaw approval in February when the 2018 assessments are available and the final 2017 year end results and carry forwards are known.

The 2017 to 2021 financial bylaw projected a $3.2 million overall increase to total property taxes in 2018 and will be used as the basis for the next five-year plan. Some of the largest components of the expected increases are largely related to major capital and service level increases. They include water, wastewater, solid waste, fire services, transit, and community parks.

As well, this year the budget has two large decreases for the return of the Island Corridor Foundation project grant requisition and the reversal of the Ravensong Aquatic Centre debt servicing requisition.

The first meeting for the 2018 to 2022 financial plan will be held on Feb. 13, 2018 and the bylaw will be given first three readings on Feb. 27. Adoption of the bylaw will be made on March 27.

The meeting dates will be published in local newspapers and on the RDN website in advance of each open board meeting.

The opportunity to make a presentation and ask questions will be provided at those meetings.