You might have heard that the provisional budget for the RDN came forward at the December 4 RDN meeting. This provisional budget has been in development since last spring, and is the staff recommendation. The budget will be revised in January and finalized in February. If you’d like to see more information about the budget, post questions to RDN staff about the budget, or answer a survey about how you’d like to provide input into future budget planning processes, you can visit the RDN page https://www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/rdn-budget-talks
You can click on the image above to see a graphic or see the full document here which has information about the Area B budget https://www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/4316/documents/12919
I’ve had questions about the provisional budget, and I include answers to the most common below:
1. Does this pay for road improvements?
Unfortunately, no. Road maintenance and development is a provincial responsibility (MOTI) - so questions about budgeting for road improvements would go through our provincial representative, Doug Routley. Mainroad Contracting has the contract for road maintenance and does road patching/pothole filling, but resurfacing is considered a capital project and is budgeted for separately. If you have concerns about specific areas that require maintenance (potholes, ditches etc.) you can contact Mainroad at 1-877-215-6006.
2. What is the price for the skatepark?
The Huxley Park development has been in progress for years. The ~$773K is the amount for all of Phase 2 of the development which includes the skatepark, electrical upgrades, and parking lot. That amount includes contingency and inflation fees recognizing that Phase 2 would not be built until 2020. The skatepark itself will cost approximately $560,000 (again, including contingency and inflation costs). As you can appreciate, the costs of construction and activities are increasing, so the budget for the project has increased since the original estimate years ago.
The RDN is applying for 2 grants to fund the project – the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) Community, Culture and Recreation Program (CCR) and the Rural and Northern Communities Program (RNC). The CCR fund will provide up to 73.33% of funding for projects (so up to $567,354 on the $773,115 amount), and the RNC fund up to 100% for communities less than 5000 people. The deadlines to apply for these grants was unexpectedly moved up by about 9 months and represent a great opportunity for us to acquire funding to support this long worked-for project. The grant applications must be submitted before the end of January 2019. Please note that the RDN needs to show that it has the funds to support the 27% matching fund requirement – we can not apply for the grants otherwise. Because the funds are provincial/federal, there are restrictions on the types of funds that can be used for the matching funds (ie the Community Works Funds aren't eligible because they are federal money). The updated numbers from the provisional budget include (I hope the formatting isn't too messed up):
CCR Grant Funds $567,354
Area B Community Parks Budget Reserves $55,000
Area B Community Parks Budget Operation Funds $121,346
Donation from the Skatepark group $ 30,000
So the amount to be collected through taxes for Phase 2 according to this provisional budget is $121,346 (this is not an ongoing tax increase). The provisional budget will be adjusted in January to better reflect the actual funds collected by the Skatepark group (which is more than the $30,000 indicated in this provisional budget). If additional donations are raised or if the RNC grant is successful the money will be held in reserve for future projects. I am also in discussions with RDN staff to determine whether we can modify the tax requisition over two years instead of one.