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RDEK Seeking Public Input on Financial Plan

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors is looking for comments from the public on the draft of its five-year financial plan.

According to the RDEK, the plan will determine how tax dollars are distributed among more than 100 different services.

The RDEK added that a few notable projects include connecting Windermere Water to the water treatment plant and upgrading its distribution system, the Hill Road dike project in Area A, and Phase 1 of the regional organics composting project.

The draft of the 2020 budget is proposing a 5.6% increase over last year, which would mean an approximately $12 on an average $354,000 residential assessment. The RDEK said that the impact will be offset by a 1.2% increase in new assessments in the East Kootenay.

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“The RDEK Board has completed its first review of the Financial Plan; however, the work on the plan is certainly far from complete,” explained RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “Staff will continue to meet with Directors, other municipalities, and various commissions over the coming weeks and a public comment period will be open until the first Monday in March.”

The RDEK said that municipalities and electoral districts are affected differently depending on which services they receive. It added that its 2020 operating budget is $34 million, while its capital Budget is $12.5 million.

“As a board, our focus is always on finding a responsible balance between providing quality services to our residents and minimizing the tax impacts. It is often a balancing act and we feel we have achieved a fair balance with this plan.  The Plan will come back before the Board next month and we encourage people to let us know their thoughts through the public comment period,” said Gay.

Public comment is open until noon on Monday, March 2nd. Copies of the plan and comment forms are available here and at the RDEK offices in Cranbrook and Invermere.

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