Regional District of Nanaimo considers hiring manager to oversee budget items

NANAIMO – Close to $63 million in capital expenditures listed in Regional District of Nanaimo proposed 2017 budget overview.

Regional District of Nanaimo is considering the addition of a purchasing manager to help oversee close to $63 million in capital expenditures listed in its proposed 2017 budget.

According to the district, the manager would provide support to all departments, providing “assistance for operational procurement funding,” with an estimated cost of $68,000. Wendy Idema, RDN director of finance, said purchasing managers oversee all of the purchasing for an organization and also ensure legal compliance.

“It’s largely because we have such huge capital projects going on, and that’s probably the biggest driver of it … we believe professional purchasing might be an advantage, but we need to look at all of our options,” Idema said.

Major projects scheduled for 2017 include the secondary wastewater treatment upgrade to the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre.

“It’s just that the volume has grown so much and the nature of the projects are so complex that having that extra level of expertise would be an advantage,” said Idema.

Budget discussions for 2017 have just begun, but if the position is approved, it would be paid for through administration recovery.

“The wastewater department has a treatment plant in greater Nanaimo and one up in French Creek [as well as] Duke Point, so because that person would assist all of them, all of those departments would help pay for that position,” said Idema.

The regional district board gave preliminary approval to the 2017 budget overview at a Nov. 22 meeting and directed staff to finalize it.

The budget process will continue into the new year, with financial plan bylaw adoption expected in March.