We are pleased to present the District’s 2021 Financial Plan. This year’s proposed budget was designed to be responsive to the needs of the community and mindful of the current economic climate. It is also informed by Council’s updated 2021-2022 Strategic Plan, which focuses on road safety and active transportation, climate action, manageable growth and supporting businesses and farms.
The District’s revenue streams remained stable in 2020. Any revenue losses and emergency planning and response costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be recovered through the COVID Safe Restart Grant provided through joint federal-provincial funding.
The 2021 budget is based on a property tax increase of 2.97%. This increase addresses inflation, improvements to public safety funding, and building capacity in climate action, an area of focus for the District.
Each year, 1% of the increase is dedicated for future infrastructure replacement as part of the sustainable Asset Management Plan, endorsed in 2017. This plan identified a requirement to increase infrastructure investment for a period of 15 years to ensure the replacement of aging infrastructure and provide for growth and expansion. The Plan is scheduled to be reviewed and updated in 2021. The draft budget also includes partial funding for a number of important infrastructure projects that are also subject to successful Provincial and/or Federal grant applications and funding.
The District’s Active Transportation plan is in its final stages in 2021. Even though it is not yet completed, the District was well positioned to submit grant applications for priority projects that had been identified in the draft plan. These projects are subject to approval and included in the budget.
Both the Sustainable Asset Management plan and the Active Transportation plan will be incorporated into the update of the Long Term Financial Plan update in 2021.
Local governments are always dynamic places to work, this past year has been particularly demanding of District staff as they respond to increased pressure of living, working and serving the community during the pandemic.