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Budget forecast shows Sooke on track

Operating revenues up about $1 million

Sooke’s budget forecast shows the district is heading in the right direction.

At a quarterly fiscal update, deputy chief administrative officer Raechel Gray reported that the district’s operating revenues are about $1 million above budget.

When tabled last March, the district’s financial plan anticipated $14.7 million in earnings. As of Sept. 30, that total is $15.7 million.

Gray said the reason for the extra money in the budget is the road and wastewater development cost charges (DCC).

“The DCCs are for specific projects and can only be used for those projects,” she said.

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Among other things, licenses and permits, as well as investment income and property tax penalties, are credited with being ahead of schedule.

Gray said that building permit revenue historically funds other projects over the year and is purposely under budgeted to provide money for other programs.

The additional $1 million comes as the district begins several significant projects next year, including the $6-million wastewater treatment expansion.

“Budgets are tight, and we try not to leave too much (money) in any expenditure budget,” Gray said.

Overall, 2022 expenses are on track. But that comes with a caveat.

Although the RCMP budget will likely finish the year with a $250,000 surplus, Gray said the district still needs to factor in the costs of a serious crime investigation and RCMP contract retroactive pay.

The district is also negotiating with the province on how to pay 90 per cent of the police budget now that Sooke’s population has topped 15,000.

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Kevin Laird

About the Author: Kevin Laird

It's my passion to contribute to the well-being of the community by connecting people through the power of reliable news and storytelling.
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