Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

2017 Budget Decisions

February 28, 2017                                                                              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2017 NRRM Budget Meeting Decisions

FORT NELSON – The 2017 Budget Meeting was held on Saturday, February 25, 2017.  Regional Council considered each proposed item in the budget documents, carefully weighing their benefits and costs, especially in light of the current economic downturn.  The 2017 budget process included the option for residents to provide their feedback on the budget in general and certain proposed programs/items in particular. Many comments were received.

In light of these suggestions, and in consideration of the need to keep costs low, Regional Council approved the following reductions:

  1. The budgets for the annual Canada Day and the Spookerama events were reduced to $10,000 each from their original budgets of 25,250 and 18,500 respectively. It is hoped that community volunteers will assist with these programs.
  2. The Project X and Summer Fun day camp program budget was reduced to $5,000 from $19,050. By expanding the program and increasing user fees it is anticipated that a good program can still be delivered economically and efficiently.
  3. Council attendance at conferences such as the Local Government Leadership Academy and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities were cancelled.
  4. Attendance at the 2017 Union of BC Municipalities Conference was reduced to three attendees.
  5. The budget for Council working meeting meals was reduced from $9,000 to $4,500.
  6. The NRRM will begin charging a fee for the production of tax certificates. We are one of the few municipalities that currently does not charge for tax certificates.
  7. Non-essential staff training was cancelled for 2017, saving $43,210.
  8. A vacant labourer position will not be filled, saving approximately $80,000 annually, but with an associated reduction in services.
  9. The Recreation Centre will reduce the number of statutory holidays that it is currently open for by two or three.
  10. As decided at an earlier meeting, Regional Council’s stipends were rolled back to their 2014 amounts and travel per diems were reduced.
  11. All contributions to reserve funds within the 2017 budget were reduced by 50%.

Additionally, Council determined the following:

  1. The ‘Theatre under the Stars’ program will continue in 2017 weather permitting.
  2. Council is looking at revamping the summer student labourer positions in that they may be made available to unemployed residents. (More details on this program will be made available as it is developed and opportunities for funding are researched).
  3. The Recreation Centre will continue to operate seven days a week.

 Regional Council thanks everyone who took the time to submit their comments, suggestions and ideas on their budget priorities.  Many thoughtful suggestions were received.  Regional Council has also resolved to enhance public consultation for future budgets.  Look for an open house type event in early February 2018 to provide your input on next year’s budget.

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