A review of items addressed by Rossland council at its May 2 meeting:
• Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) chief administration officer Mark Andison and chief financial officer Barb Ihlen presented their annual budget and what is owing to Rossland council May 2.
RDKB directors approved its largest budget in history at $92.6 million on March 30 and RDKB taxes at $24.1 million after adopting its Five-Year Financial Plan.
However, RDKB anticipates 34 per cent of the overall budget will be covered by provincial and federal government grants worth more than $31 million.
“Overall, the RDKB has 71 services and each service is distinct unto itself so it has different participants,” explained Ihlen. “It’s not like municipalities where everyone participates. I believe there is about 12 services that Rossland takes part as a city in.”
In all, the RDKB budget increased by 66 per cent over 2021 due to the cost of capital projects like the Columbia Pollution Control Centre ($63 million over two to three years), regional waste management upgrades and East End Fire Protection. Capital projects comprise 51 per cent or $47.3 million of this year’s budget.
The 2022 budget requisition of $24.1 million is up only four per cent or $858,000 from 2021 thanks to the grants.
RDKB levy on Rossland is about $1.7 M. The total portion, which includes costs for the East End Regional sewer utility, will increase by nine per cent ($160,729) this year to just over $2 million, compared to a two per cent increase for Trail, $4.7 million, and 10 per cent for Warfield, almost $680,000. Rossland’s assessment roll value rose 28.7 per cent from 2021 to more than $27 million.
• With palpable excitement, council unanimously adopted Rossland’s 2022-2026 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw, presented on April 19 to council with five residents in attendance.
“I love it,” said Coun. Janice Nightingale. “Great job Mike (CFO Mike Kennedy), thank you so much. Great work, very accessible, and readable.”
• Council also gave unanimous approval to Rossland’s 2022 Municipal Tax Rate Bylaw. The bylaw includes a three per cent increase in residential property taxes, and a four per cent increase for all other classes of property.
Council voted to reduce the proposed tax increase from 3.5 per cent to three per cent at a Feb. 7 council meeting, after staff recommended the increase to cover capital costs and a looming police fund.
• The Ophir Reservoir Local Area Tax Rate Bylaw and Red Mountain Tax Rate Bylaw also carried unanimously.
• Nightingale also included relevant statistics from the recent 2021 census.
Rossland highlights include residents in age ranges 5-19 and 20–44 have increased by 13 per cent, 40-64 has remained stable, and 65- 84 have increased by 49 per cent. The number of residents age 85 and over fell from 45 to 40.
Total number of private households have grown by 14 per cent, even though population has grown by 11 per cent. 67 per cent of Rossland’s households are occupied by either one (30 per cent, growing) or two (37 per cent, stable) people.
Three person households compromise 13 per cent (shrinking), four person households 16 per cent (stable), and five or more person households are four per cent (stable) of our total.
• In place of Coun. Andy Morel at the RDKB board meeting, Nightingale reported that board director Linda Worley from Area B asked the board to correspond with WHY Resources regarding their proposed mine development in the Record Ridge area.
Nightingale seconded and indicated that even though the decision is a provincial one, there is strong desire in the community of Rossland for additional information and the opportunity to provide local input. “This is an issue it would be appropriate for the board to advocate on in the interests of our constituents,” added Nightingale.
The motion passed unanimously.
Rossland council’s next meeting goes Monday, May 16 at the Miners Hall at 6 p.m. Go to rossland.ca for more city council news.