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FRASER VAllEY REGIONAL DISTRICT COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE BUDGET

VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 6

									                         FRASER VAllEY REGIONAL DISTRICT

                                 COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
                                           BUDGET MEETING

                        Tuesday, November 24,2009 @ 3:00 P.M.
                   FVRD Boardroom, 45950 Cheam Avenue, Chilliwack, BC


                                    OPEN MEETING AGENDA

Present:

        Director Patricia Ross, City of Abbotsford, Chair   Director Terry Gidda, District of Mission
        Director Dennis Adamson, Electoral Area B           Director Moe Gill, City of Abbotsford
        Director James Atebe, District of Mission           Director David Lamson, Electoral Area E
        Director Wendy Bales, Electoral Area C              Director AI Stobbart, Electoral Area G
        Director Pat Clark, City of Chilliwack              Director Chuck Stam, City of Chilliwack
        Director Bill Dickey, Electoral Area D                                               (arrived at 3:55 p.m.)
        Director Lome Fisher, District of Kent              Director George Peary, City of Abbotsford
                                                                                             (arrived at 4;20 p.rn.)
        Director Lloyd Forman, Electoral Area A
        Director Laurie French, District of Hope            Director John Smith, City of Abbotsford
                                                                                             (arrived at 4:40 p.m.)
        Director Dick Bogstie, Electoral Area G             Director Simon Gibson, City of Abbotsford
                                                                                             (arrived.at 5.27 P;l1)')
                                                            Director Ken Becotte, Harrison Hot Springs
                                                                                             (arrived at 5:30p;m,)


Staff Present:
        Gerald Kingston, Chief Administrative Officer
        Suzanne Gresham, Director of Corporate Services
        George Murray, Director of Finance
        Hugh Sloan, Director of Planning
        Tareq Islam, Director of Engineering
        Michael Phelan, Manager of Budgets
        Julie Webb, Manager of Accounting Services
        Chris Lee, Recording Secretary

Regrets:
        Director Sharon Gaetz, City of Chilliwack


1          CALL TO ORDER
Chair Ross called the meeting to order at 3:22 p.m.
Fraser Valley Regional District
Committee of the Whole Budget Meeting - November 24, 2009                                   Page 2


2        2010 DRAFT REGIONAL & SUB-REGIONAL FINANCIAL PLANS
George Murray, Director of Finance and Mike Phelan, Manager of Budgets presented a
PowerPoint presentation on the 2010 Financial Plan, reviewing the Regional and Sub-Regional
Services. They reported that the Public Sector Advisory Board has established "new" guidelines
for local government reporting for 2009 and beyond. The new guidelines require that local
government include the accounting for Tangible Capital Assets (TCA) which includes a new
Financial Statement formal. As such, he advised that the 2010 Financial Plan will take on a
slightly different format from previous years. In addition to the format change, there are a few
notable differences, being:

    a) E911 and Regional Fire Dispatch services are being presented under the Regional
       Services Financial Plans (versus sub-Regional services);
    b) The Sub-Regional Service of "Regional Mapping" have been Significantly revised as the
       Board had approved a new methodology for allocating the costs associated with
       Geographical Mapping Service (GIS);
    c) Two Sub-Regional Services, Milfoil Control and Vessel Noise Control, have been
       eliminated from the Sub-Regional Financial Plans for 2010;
    d) A Regional Grant-in-Aid to Elizabeth's Wildlife Centre has been added to the Sub-
       Regional budget area;
    e) Also added to the Sub-Regional budget area is a Feasibility study budget for review of the
       potential Animal Control services for a portion of the Regional District;
    f)   The Regional Hospital's 2010 DRAFT Financial Plan has been included in this year's
         Committee of the Whole presentation; and
    g) Traditionally, the Environment Committee has seen and recommended approval of the Air
       Quality Financial Plan. Due to the timing this year, the Environment Committee did not
       get a chance to review the 2010 Financial Plan.

Mr. Murray also highlighted the "Challenges" with TCA. He also advised that the revision of the
Financial Planning period to the fall of the preceding year also brought about a few challenges.
These challenges include:

    1)   Having to estimate the year end financial position of each of the services, including the
         surpluses and reserve fund positions; and
    2)   As the 2009 Assessment Roll information normally gets distributed on or about November
         15th of each year, staff has not had sufficient time to include the new assessed values into
         the Financial Plan.

The 2010 Financial Plan, as presented was reviewed. Some points of note are:

REGiONAL SERVICES
    •    Tax "rate" for each service is the same for the entire area (i.e. each jurisdiction) for the
         service
    •    Each Financial Plan Section begins with the 2009 Assessment data for that Service Area
Fraser Valley Regional District
Committee of the Whole Budget Meeting - November 24, 2009                                Page 3


Regional Administration

   •   Marginal Tax Rate decrease of 2.26%
   •   Increase in staffing in Corporate Administration and Finance Departments
   •   Increase in the Administration fee of approximately 2%. Thisinternal charge will be
       completely reviewed in 2010 for the 2011 Financial Plan
   •   General reduction in "Information Technology" budgets due to the hard work of Mr. Doug
       Joinson, Manager of Communications & Information Systems.
   •   Legal Fees have been increased to estimated levels.
   •   GIS fee is now included in the Financial Plan

Emergency 911 and Regional Fire Dispatch
   •   Elimination of contracts for Fire Services
   •   E-911 - new service for 2010
   •   Call answer levy bylaw is being presented to the Board at its November meeting

Regional Air Quality
   •   Marginal tax increase of 3.36%
   •   Surplus funds will allow Environment Committee and Board to undertake special projects

Regional Solid Waste Management
   •   Increase tonnage levy to $1.25

Regional Development
   •   Recommend increase of 3.04%
   •   Funding projects out of surplus
   •   2011 could be a funding challenge

Mosguito Control
   •   Dramatic decrease in tax requisition of 31.52%
   •   Not anticipating a grant from Fraser Health for West Nile works
   •   Removal of contingencies - West Nile Virus and Pesticides Contingency (Nuisance
       Mosquito Control)


SUB-REGIONAL SERVICES

Search and Rescue
   •   Only Abbotsford is not a participant of this service
   •   Seek direction from Board for additional funding of 2.5% increase

Director Clark noted that there was no reserve fund or surplus for this service and requested the
Directors to consider increasing funding to build a reserve. She felt that this is truly a service
area where it will benefit all.
Fraser Valley Regional District
Committee of the Whole Budget Meeting - November 24, 2009                                    Page 4


CLARKIATEBE
THAT staff develop a business case to formulate the rationale for increasing the tax requisition
for Search and Rescue Service for 2010 for the purpose of building up a surplus fund for that
service,
[COW 2009-04J                                                                       CARRIED

Noxious Weed Control
    •   Large change in GIS - up $10,000 due to use of hand held GPS equipment
    •   Recommend a 5,93% in tax requisition

Directors Smith and Peary sought clarification on services provided and the associated cost
breakdown for each area, Staff was requested to report back with more clarity on how cmuch
service each jurisdiction received in 2009.

Elizabeth's Wildlife Centre
Mr. Murray reported that the Regional District have just received a verbal response from staff at
the City of Chilliwack indicating that they will not be recommending participation in the regional
grant-in-aid for Elizabeth Wildlife Centre, He advised that the City of Abbotsford has agreed to
participate to a maximum of $14,000 and that the other jurisdictions indicating support were
Hope, Electoral Areas C and E.
Chair Ross reported that the Elizabeth Wildlife Centre is the only facility in the Regional District
that takes in sick and injured wildlife for care that the animals might not receive from any other
animal care provider and so far only the City of Abbotsford has been funding this Centre.
Director Clark advised that the regional grant-in-aid for the Elizabeth Wildlife Centre will be tabled
                                                            s"
at the City of Chilliwack Council meeting on December 1 2009 with staff recommendation that
they will not be supporting this. Director Stam advised that although the City of Chilliwack
acknowledged that this is an important service, the City is faced with a myriad of other
challenges, including homelessness, people addicted to drugs with no place to put them,
teenagers couch surfing and homeless and that taxpayers have been maxed out and it is hoped
that the private sector will be able to offer their support towards this service.

Director Bales advised that she would like more time to consider participating in this grant-in-aid
to see how it relates to other expenses in her Electoral Area.

Chair Ross advised that the Elizabeth Wildlife Centre has been waiting for a response from the
Regional District, and that a reply should be forwarded to them one way or the other as soon as
possible.

Regional Animal Control

Mr. Murray reported that Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope, Harrison, Electoral Areas C, D and E
have expressed interest in participating in the feasibility study on Regional Animal Control costing
$25,000. Discussed ensued on the practicality of a Regional Animal Control to outlying areas,
The Committee requested for more information on what the Regional Animal Control would
entail. Mr. Murray advised that his understanding was that the feasibility study would be more of
an investigatory process. Director Bogstie advised that there is a misconception that the budget
item related to the actual operation of the service. He agreed that that this is a good service and
Fraser Valley Regional District
Committee of the Whole Budget Meeting      November 24, 2009                            Page 5


that a feasibility study was necessary to see if such a service is viable. He agreed to Electoral
Area F's participation in the feasibility study.


FRASER VALLEY REGIONAL HOSPITAL DISTRICT

Mr. Murray reviewed the 2010 Financial Plan for the Fraser Valley Regional Hospital District. He
advised that two options were provided: 1) Option A is to continue as in previous years, and 2)
Option B provided an alternative to the "standard budget" approach by utilizing reserve funds to
reduce future debt load. Discussion ensued with respect to the pros and cons of Option A versus
Option B.

PEARY/STAM
THAT Option B - to expend our reserve funds in order to reduce our future debt load be selected
for the Fraser Valley Regional Hospital District 2010 Financial Plan.
[COW 2009-05]                                                                       CARRIED


The Meeting recessed at 5:37 p.m. and reconvened at 6:00 p.m.


Director Bogstie, on behalf of the taxpayers, thanked staff and Heads of Departments for an
excellent job in trimming the budgets in a difficult year. Chair Ross thanked staff for the hard
work put in developing a creative and innovative Financial Plan. Director Stam also thanked staff
for a well thought out budget and that he enjoyed the presentation.

In closing, Director Peary provided some closing comments, the most of important of which was
to request that staff engage the Municipalities' Chief Financial Officers in the process before
presenting the draft Financial Plan so that they have the opportunity to understand and
rationalize the budgets set.

SMITH/FORMAN
THAT the Committee of the Whole recommend approval of the all the exhibits of the 2010
Financial Plan to the Fraser Valley Regional District Board, as presented, except for the exhibit
on the Elizabeth Wildlife Centre pending further input from Electoral Area C and Hope.
[COW 2009-06]                                                                         CARRIED


3      ADJOURNMENT
FORMAN/STAM
THAT the meeting be adjourned.
[COW 2009-071                                                                        CARRIED


The meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m.
Fraser Valley Regional District
Committee of the Whole Budget Meeting - November 24, 2009   Page 6


MINUTES CERTIFIED CORRECT BY:


",~ii;f~;;'_,~,,,,,,,      '"'' ""
Director Patricia Ross, Chair

								
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