qathet Regional District’s (qRD) finance committee is recommending that the regional board direct staff to produce a report on community works fund policy.
At the January 19 finance committee meeting, Electoral Area D director Sandy McCormick introduced the motion regarding a report, including samples of how the funds are allocated in other regional districts. The report would be introduced for discussion at the finance committee.
Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne said he wanted to remind directors that the community works fund policy had been reviewed a year and a half ago and there were a number of changes made to the policy then. He said, at the time, he disagreed with the changes.
“I’m kind of curious as to what the true intent is for changing this policy,” said Gisborne. “I believe I was the only director who voted against changing the policy to what it is now. Why didn’t we address these issues a year and a half ago? Why is it now rather than then?”
Finance committee chair George Doubt said McCormick made a motion and it should be assumed it’s what the director wants to do.
“If we have any debate on the motion itself, I’d be interested in hearing that,” said Doubt.
McCormick said it is important for qRD to have a policy regarding allocation of money, for whatever purpose, for directors to understand how community works funds are spent.
“So far, it seems to be first come, first served, so I would like to have a discussion about that,” added McCormick.
Gisborne said he understands that directors would like to see a policy, and that he’d like to remind directors there already is a policy.
“We had a policy originally adopted in 2013 and in July of 2020, we amended it,” said Gisborne. “Prior to the amendment, the policy stated that community works funds were up to the electoral area directors. Then we changed the policy so that it’s up to the whole board. I’m sure we can just pull up the staff report from 2020 and take a look at all of the information contained therein.
“I don’t like the policy we have now so I’m happy to support this motion, but I’m just wondering where it’s going to go, since we already went down this road a year and a half ago.”
The committee unanimously supported the motion.
The community works fund, also known as the gas tax money, is allocated annually by the federal government to regional and municipal governments. qRD has received presentations at recent meetings from Texada Island improvement districts to allocate community works funds to supplement water system upgrades.