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Regional District of Nanaimo considering 30 new staff positions as it works on next budget

RDN staff and directors meet to discuss 2023-27 financial plan
Regional District of Nanaimo directors have begun deliberations for their 2023-27 financial plan. (News Bulletin file photo)

More than $2.5 million in new staffing and money for updated security technology could be notable spends as Regional District of Nanaimo plans its next budget.

A 2023-27 RDN financial plan report was presented to directors at a board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 6, with recommendations for staffing, new services and capital project expenditures. The RDN told the News Bulletin the total budget amount and tax requisitions will be provided to directors at a Jan. 17 meeting.

The 2023 budget proposal calls for amendments to 32.5 full-time equivalent positions, “including the addition of 28 full-time positions,” which will impact taxpayers to the tune of $2.6 million, stated an RDN staff report.

These include a $149,000 allocation for another recreation program services superintendent. The second superintendent “would be responsible for the development and support for both direct recreation program services provided by the RDN as well as supplemental recreation program services with partners,” noted staff.

A human resources advisor ($136,000) is proposed to meet service priorities, “especially in the areas of transit and fire services,” the report said, and $163,000 is proposed for a client and technical services manager in the IT department to assist the chief technology officer.

A policy advisor and a strategic initiatives coordinator for the strategy and intergovernmental services department (both at $136,000) are also being considered. The advisor’s responsibilities would include “advocacy-related work” to support Nanaimo Regional Hospital District and its priorities and commitments. Previously a temporary position, the strategic initiatives coordinator would become permanent, and include administrative duties related to NRHD advocacy, the report noted

The conversion of the Area E (Nanoose Bay) community fire chief position from one paid by wages to salary ($117,000) is also listed in the report.

With the RDN’s Hammond Bay Road headquarters getting older, upgrades and preventative maintenance are needed and $144,000 is proposed for “a ductless mini‐split” air conditioning unit for a small server room, new video surveillance cameras, as well as work on “boiler water treatments” and maintenance on roofing, gutters and the parking lot, the report noted.

Continuing work on the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre is among capital expenditures listed for 2023, including replacement of motor control centres. While the total budget is more than $420,000, the plan proposes funding almost all of that from reserves.

At the meeting, Teunis Westbroek, Qualicum Beach director, asked about staffing for climate change adaptation.

“We’re looking at an officer to reduce fire risks. I think we need to correlate that with the municipal areas that are concerned about that as well,” he said. “That’s more of the thing I’m looking for … a resiliency officer where we’re planning for climate change and trying to mitigate, adapt, however we want to address it.”

The board accepted the report for information. A preliminary financial plan is scheduled to go before the RDN committee of the whole Jan. 17 and in front of the board on Feb. 28.

Regional district governments must adopt their budgets by March 31, as is required by provincial legislation. Residents will be able to view the 2023 RDN financial plan when it is posted at in February.

READ ALSO: New RDN board chairperson, vice-chairperson elected

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

I joined Black Press in 2010 and cover education, court and RDN. I am a Ma Murray and CCNA award winner.
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