Farming and transportation remain the two key industries, and a national magazine named North Saanich the safest place to live in B.C. notes the District of North Saanich in it’s recently released annual report for 2018.
It sets out some interesting facts as well as financial statistics. The 11,000 people residing in the district largely live among the residential neighbourhoods of Ardmore, Deep Cove, Curteis Point, Cloake Hill/Green Park, Dean Park and the South East Quadrant.
The District issued 192 building permits down from 224 the previous year.
In the report, Director of Financial Services, Stephanie Munro writes, “The District relies heavily on property taxes, water and sewer charges to fund all of the services it provides. Of the $21.6 million of revenue reported by the District for 2018, 58 per cent of it came from property taxes, and 21 per cent from water and sewer fees and charges. Over 14 per cent of the property tax revenue comes from the Airport Land alone and that will continue to grow as the Airport lands are developed.”
The District’s financial assets totalled $36,741,285, with liabilities listed as $14,955,236. Revenues were $21,584,703, down from $29,795,340 in 2017. Reserve funds are recorded as being $17,545,053.
“The majority of the debt the District holds is for sewer infrastructure. The total debt for the District has decreased from $7.3 million at the end of 2017 to $6.5 million in 2018 as principal payments are made. Operating results for 2018 exceeded budgeted expectations. The District’s net investment in capital assets increased by $1.5 million and total accumulated surplus increased by $4.3 million,” Munro says.
Notable District successes include completing the new east-west trail at the former Dunsmuir Lodge property, the installation of bike lanes on West Saanich Road from Willingdon Road to the Tseycum First Nation and the creation of an Emergency Notification System jointly with Sidney and Central Saanich. The District also rezoned a 32 acre parcel of land adjacent to Horth Hill, with 12 acres becoming public park and approved the Lochside Development, including 10 lots for Habitat for Humanity.
The engineering department were proud to report the renewal of 700 m of asbestos cement (AC) water main on Lands End Road and the construction of 1.5km of bike lanes on West Saanich Road.
North Saanich fire department are also mentioned in the report. Their four career employees and 39 volunteers reported more medical than fire calls last year. They answered 153 duty calls, 263 fire calls, 270 medical calls and four rescue emergencies. The department also conducted 790 inspections over the course of the year.
The Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Detachment provides 24-hour, seven day a week on-duty response capabilities and responded to 7,000 calls last year.