GRCA holds line on spending in 2015

March 4, 2015   ·   0 Comments

The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) is holding the line on spending in 2015 with a budget that’s slightly less than last year.

The GRCA will spend about $29.5 million this year on programs that protect water quality, reduce flood damages, protect natural areas, support responsible development and provide outdoor recreation and environmental education. The budget is down about $256,000 from last year.

The budget was approved by the GRCA board last Friday. The board is made up of 26 members appointed by the municipalities in the Grand River watershed.

Municipalities will contribute about $10.5 million to the GRCA this year, about 36 per cent of the total budget.

That works out to about $10.39 per resident. The municipal levy is up about 2.5 per cent this year.

Government grants, primarily from the province, are worth about $3.9 million, representing about 13 per cent of the budget.

Finally, the GRCA generates about $13.8 million (about 47 per cent per cent) of its own revenue though an assortment of fees and revenue sources including camping fees, park admissions, hydro sales, property rentals, tree sales and donations raised by the Grand River Conservation Foundation.

Board Chair Jane Mitchell noted that even though the GRCA has contained its spending, senior staff are continuing to look for efficiencies and additional revenues. She noted that a number of retirements in the coming year will provide an opportunity to review operations. Some additional parks may open for winter activities, boosting revenues. There may be opportunities to generate more revenue from rental properties, she added.

Budget highlights

• merald ash borer: About $400,000 will be spent this year responding to damage inflicted by the invasive insect. Most of the money will go to remove hazardous trees in the areas where the infestation is the highest.

Some money will also be spent on a continuing program to inoculate about 200 trees against the bug.

• ural Water Quality Program – About $800,000 will be available to farmers to help them undertake projects to protect water quality on their land including tree planting, erection of fences along water courses, construction of manure storage tanks and other projects. The money comes from watershed municipalities while the GRCA manages the program.

• arge cover placement program – About $55,000 will be spent to change the contour of the riverbed in an area downstream of Elora.

This will improve fish habitat and have the added benefit of reducing frazil ice production in this area during the winter.

Frazil ice is a slushy type of ice that can build up in a location and result in ice jams and flooding.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.