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HomeNewsThe cost of recreation is going up in the North Cariboo

The cost of recreation is going up in the North Cariboo

The North Cariboo Joint Advisory Committee unanimously endorsed an increase to the budget at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Jeff Norburn is the Director of Community Services.

“The proposed 2023 budget is based on a total tax requisition of $4,487,449. This represents a 4 percent increase over 2022. The five year financial plan is based on a 4 percent increase to the tax requisition in each year of the financial plan.”

While the tax increase is line with the five year financial plan, it won’t include any money going into reserves in the first couple of years, which is not in line with the plan’s goals.

“The proposed plan includes allocations to capital reserves in 2026 and 2027.  However, the overall net increase to capital reserves over the 5-year plan is zero as allocations from capital reserves are required in 2023 and 2024 to support a number of significant building maintenance projects over the first three years of the plan.”

Norburn said those projects include addressing structural issues at the Alex Fraser Agriplex, as well as a couple of projects at the Quesnel Soccer Complex.

“You may recall we had a pretty lengthy discussion about the roof and the gutters and some insurance claims that have transpired there.  And then replacing the turf at the soccer complex, which is something that we have shown in the budget.  We had an allocation shown last year of about a 100 thousand but we’ve since gotten better pricing on that, and the cost is more in the order of 300 thousand.”

Norburn said there was also a potential commitment of 137 thousand dollars if they were successful in getting a Northern Development Initiative Trust grant for a floor for the arena and storage trailer for the floor.

600 thousand dollars will come out of reserves in the first two years with the idea of making that up in the last three.

There was some concern about the decision, most notably from CRD Directors Mary Sjostrom and John Massier.

“I too lament a little bit that our transfers to capital reserves in my mind are to build a little bit of a nest egg for the future but we seem to be sort of cooking and eating that egg as fast as we can put it in there.”

There were some other increases in the budget, including increases for the Bouchie Lake Recreation Commission (3.38%), Parkland Recreation Commission (3.95%), and the Barlow Creek Recreation Commission (1.5%).

The Quesnel and District Arts Council requested an increase from $37,000 to $45,000 over four years, and the Gold Rush Cycling Club requested an increase from $15,000 to $25,000.

Norburn noted that those increases were relatively minor when compared to the capital projects.

The Committee’s decision still has to be runner stamped by the CRD Board.

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