Budget Workshop with the ACRD July 23rd, 2009

In preparation for the development of the 2010 Salmon Beach budget, all of the “Executive Committee” members met with ACRD staff Teri Fong, and Tom Gowan for an information gathering session at the ACRD office in Port Alberni. This year’s budget was examined in depth through explanations and discussion with the ACRD staff in an effort to help us understand how to establish the budget for the next calendar year.

What we learned:

  • The structure of the Executive Committee no longer provides the services of a volunteer treasurer. Consequently, the ACRD charges Salmon Beach a fee for bookkeeping, which is charged to each service area. The ACRD also charges a fee to Salmon Beach for providing information and explanations to Salmon Beach property owners who contact them individually. The more time they spend giving info and explanations, the more we are taxed.
  • It has been determined that we no longer need to purchase liability insurance for the community as we are now covered by ACRD insurance. This is a savings of $2600.00 a year.
  • The parcel tax is determined by taking the total cost of the work required in each service area and dividing that total amount by the number of lots in the community (we believe this number is 376).
  • There are seven services that are funded in each year’s budget. A work plan for each service is developed each year and the cost of the work needed in each service area determines the amount of tax that property owners must pay. Each service has a capital reserve fund that is in a separate bank account. This reserve fund is added to most years in anticipation of future needs of the community in specific service areas. For example, under the “Sewage” service, we currently have a capital reserve of $90,062 in a “Sewage” bank account. This money collects interest, and has been set-aside in anticipation of ensuring for example, that funds are available for maintenance and repairs to our sanifield. The cost of the pumper truck is $31,320.00 per year for 5 years and will be paid off in September of 2012.
  • The “Security” service has a capital reserve of $17,778.00. It is anticipated that this reserve will increase by $5000.00 each year for the foreseeable future. The current Executive speculated that this money might be put to good use by purchasing and installing an electric gate with an electronic keypad so that residents do not have to leave their vehicle to enter or leave the beach.
  • The capital reserve in the “Garbage” service at the present time is $5935.00. This is $2000.00 more than anticipated as the recycling bins that were to be replaced have not been.
  • The current Executive also discussed adding to the “Recreation” capital fund as it is anticipated that due to liability concerns, jobs normally done by volunteers such as removal of the boat ramp floats, will be hired out this year. It was also discussed that improvements to the boat ramp, tennis court, playing field and community center are also necessary and should be funded through the budget.
  • The new playground cost approximately $39,000.00, $13,000.00 of which was donated by residents. Capital funds from the “Recreation” service were used to pay off the remainder. There is no money owing for the playground.
  • The property purchase of 5 lots last year cost approximately $81,000.00. This will be paid for over 5 years at a cost of $18,360.00 per year. This loan should be paid off in 2013.
  • It is anticipated that road grading and repair will cost approximately $77,020.00 each year. At the end of the year, the “Transportation” service has $22,726.00 in reserve.
  • The “Water” service has $5,518.00 in reserve funds, which will be spent on replacing a damaged wellhead and paying for monthly water testing and shocking when necessary.
  • $18,000.00 that was in last years budget for “Power Distribution” was not spent, and will consequently be added to the cost of borrowing for the Hydro installation.

All in all, it was a very informative meeting and the Executive would like to thank the ACRD staff for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with us. We now feel that we have a better understanding of what we need to do to develop the next budget for Salmon Beach. We plan to present a preliminary work plan and budget to the community prior to the September AGM. This will be published for your consideration on the Salmon Beach website.