The Peace River Regional District PRRD board has approved a 7.13 per cent budget reduction for 2021. The PRRD’s overall budget for all service functions is $88,898,920, a decrease of $6,820,243 from 2020.
“Fiscal responsibility is the lens through which the Board of Directors views all of its decisions, and I’m pleased to say that we have been able to approve a budget that keeps costs down while continuing to provide important services to our residents,” says PRRD Board Chair Brad Sperling.
“I thank the Board of Directors for their ongoing commitment to fiscal responsibility, and I also want to recognize PRRD staff for their excellent work in producing a budget that allows the PRRD to achieve strategic priorities while easing the financial burden on PRRD taxpayers by reducing costs.”
The PRRD provides a range of services including solid waste management, rural water services, sewer collection and disposal, invasive plant control, fire protection, community services and recreation, regional parks, development services and subdivision planning, building inspection and bylaw enforcement.
When asked if the budget reduction was a case of death by 1000 cuts, or a single large cut, Sperling said the key reason for the major decrease in the budget is that our Electoral Area directors committed or paid out grant dollars in 2020 amounting to over $4 million.
"By giving/committing that money (PRA funds, gas tax funds, Fair Share monies), our Electoral Area directors are supporting local community organizations for both capital and operating funds as well as reducing the requisition to taxpayers for a variety of service functions; these costs would have been borne by taxpayers.”
The PRRD Board adopted its Five-Year Financial Plan (2021 – 2025) Bylaw No. 2437, 2021 on March 29, 2021. It details the revenues and expenses for every service function in the Peace River Regional District.