qathet Regional District (qRD) directors will consider increasing the requisition for house numbering by $25,000.
At the January 19 finance committee meeting, directors were asked to consider upping the requisition because of increased demand for numbering.
According to a staff report, the current bylaw provides a $15,000 requisition limit per year. The regional district has calculated the cost of issuing a house number at $360.
During the meeting, finance committee chair George Doubt said his understanding is that the $360 cost is not something the regional district charged to people seeking a house number, but that it is an internal calculation for administration of the task.
Manager of financial services Linda Greenan said that fee is charged to Tla’amin Nation because it is not part of the regional district house numbering service.
“If someone else in the electoral areas needs a house number, that is included in the service,” said Greenan.
Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne said he is curious whether it would be possible to put a portion of that financial burden onto the applicant rather than taxpayers.
“Is that something that could be possible for our organization?” asked Gisborne.
Greenan said it’s not something that has been considered because it is a core function of the regional district.
“We need to issue those numbers for emergency services; that’s a big part of it, ” said Greenan. “We need to make sure all the emergency respondents have those addresses. I think that is why we have always included it as part of our core function, to ensure the addresses are correct and that all of the first responders have that information.”
Doubt said charging people for house numbers is along the lines of what he was thinking about when he read the report, but when he gave the matter some thought, one of the things the regional district doesn’t want to do is put in place a charge that would discourage people from applying for house numbers.
“For emergency services and for finding people’s houses, it’s in the board’s interest to have people apply and have a house number,” said Doubt.
The committee voted to send the requisition increase to the regional board for first three readings and that the bylaw then be forwarded to the inspector of municipalities.
According to the staff report, it is now clear that the existing $15,000 requisition limit is not sufficient to recover a deficit incurred in 2021 and fund the service in 2022.
“Staff recommend increasing the maximum requisition limit for the service to $40,000 in preparation for additional future demand,” the report stated. “Demand for house numbering has been increasing since staff began tracking it in 2003.
“Properties in the qathet Regional District have become increasingly desirable for development and relocations from larger cities. Population projections for the region also support steady increase in residents in the coming years. Staff anticipate that the demand and costs to operate the service will continue to increase.”