Garbage rates see slight bump in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

NANAIMO – Regional District of Nanaimo sees preliminary costs for coming year.

People in Regional District of Nanaimo boundaries could be in line for an increase in garbage collection fees, according to a preliminary 2017 budget report.

The regional district began its budget process Tuesday, and the report calls for user rates to increase to $127.65 a year from $125.15 a year.

“That rate is based on a pretty reasoned budget review … it depends on what we think the amount increases [are] for our haulers,” said Wendy Idema, regional district director of finance.

Residents could also see increase to electricity rates, as the regional district will have to account for a 3.5-per cent B.C. Hydro rate increase, although Idema said it hasn’t determined how much rates will increase.

In terms of major projects that will be undertaken, the regional district has allocated $45 million for secondary treatment at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre and money for a number of transit projects.

The district has budgeted $159,000 for improvements to the bus exchange at Woodgrove Centre and also earmarked $1 million for a new downtown transit exchange, although a location has not been decided on yet.

The money is there just in case a decision is made, said Idema.

Regional district taxpayers could also see $799,000 in tax money previously collected for train track repairs along the Island Corridor returned, as directors voted to terminate an agreement to disperse the money and refund the requisitioned money.

Another regional district budget meeting is scheduled for Tuesday (Nov. 15).

The budget bylaw is expected to be completed by, and voted on by directors, in March.