qathet Regional District’s (qRD) contribution to North Island 911 will likely be increasing in 2021.
At the November 26 qRD board meeting, city director George Doubt outlined the operating budget of North Island 911, showing $2.5 million in income from regional contributors such as qRD, plus income from other sources. Total income and expenditures in 2020 for North Island 911 amounts to $2,888,010.
In terms of operating budget apportionment and assessment, in 2020, the qRD contribution to North Island 911 was $194,585. The amount paid is based on property assessments.
Doubt said some assessments in member regional districts have changed over time, leading to some dissatisfaction among some shareholders. Other regional districts involved in North Island 911 include Mount Waddington, Strathcona, Comox Valley, Alberni-Clayoquot and Regional District of Nanaimo.
Doubt said the main point of his presentation was that there were eight different options initially presented for cost apportionments moving forward. The North Island 911 board had reduced that down to three scenarios.
Doubt said there have been a number of meetings and it’s been a matter of discussion for some years at North Island 911 about fairness of the system of apportioning costs. He said one option being considered involves 50 per cent assessments and 50 per cent population, which would result in an increase to qRD’s contribution by $15,370, which is “not that terribly outlandish.”
The North Island 911 board also discussed an option based on call volume and assessments, and the difference for qRD in that scenario would be $48,061, which would be a more significant increase.
The other option being considered would take into consideration call volume, assessments and population, and that would result in an increase of $53,962 for qRD.
Doubt said the option based on assessments and population, which amounted to an increase of $15,370, is the most logical, and the most fair.
“There is going to be a change that is going to be in the range of $15,000 to $53,000 and that decision will be made in January as part of the next budget process,” said Doubt. “I wanted to make sure everyone understood what was happening and to provide some background and let you know the questions that are being asked, and the decisions I’m going to have to make.”
Doubt said some regional districts have had the share of the costs go up considerably because assessments have risen much faster than other regional districts, and they were concerned about the rates and how they were rising. He said he would be spending time between now and January making sure he argues strongly for the option based on assessments and population, with the $15,370 increase.