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Taking Stock

As the New Year begins and 2020 has come to a close, it is a fitting opportunity to take stock of how fortunate we are to call the Sunshine Coast home – a place where compassion, commitment and resilience combine to provide a quality of life that is second to none.
In our lifetime, we have never experienced anything quite like the COVID-19 pandemic, causing large scale changes to our community and our economy. There are several new challenges and impacts that we, as a regional district, will continue to have to face in the coming years as a result of the pandemic.
As we look ahead to 2021, there are a number of large projects on the horizon at the Sunshine Coast Regional
District (SCRD). Significant work on our landfill, upgrades to four dams operated by the SCRD and investments in our fire departments make up just some of the projects in the coming year. For 2021, 94 new project proposals were presented to the board for consideration, and an estimated 113 projects are being carried forward from prior years. Carry-forward projects and the associated funding must be included in the 2021-2025 Financial
Plan.
All of these projects come at a cost, which will result in increases on utility and property tax bills in the coming months. We understand these increased rates will put additional strain on many during an already challenging time. What is important for you to understand is that these projects are necessary for us to sustain services that we all depend on each and every day in the SCRD.
To ensure that we are transparent in our financial reporting, we must adopt a Financial Plan Bylaw annually by March 31. An integral portion of this process is public participation and involvement from our local government stakeholders. This plays a key role in the development of the
plan.
The first round of budget meetings will consider a wide range of projects and cost-based priorities, including those from community partners and stakeholders, such as libraries, museums, youth services and economic development entities. These are scheduled to take place on Feb. 1 and 2, 2021. The second round of budget meetings are scheduled for March 4 and 5, 2021.
We will continue to follow the Provincial Health Officer’s direction in relation to how you can participate, which at this time will continue to be electronically. Agenda packages and information on how to participate electronically are available at www.scrd.ca/agendas-2021.
In spite of these extraordinary times, I continue to be inspired by this community that has, in so many ways, come together to help each other through uncertainty and adversity. This is the mindset and spirit that is necessary to navigate these hard times. I am confident that together, we will weather these storms and emerge as a stronger, more resilient, and more sustainable
community.

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