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CVRD looking at a budget hike of under one percent

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The Cowichan Valley Regional District is not expecting much of a backlash to this year's proposed budget.

The taxpayers are not usually up in arms over a budget increase that comes in at under 1%.

As CVRD staffers are getting ready to get further direction on the books from elected officials, they are calling for public input as well.

"Frankly, we don't often get a lot of responses, but I think people wouldn't be too upset about this year's small increase," general manager for corporate services Mark Kuebersaid.

Kueber reported they're looking at an overall .9% increase, in this year's $10-million budget.

"It's one the the smallest increases proposed we've ever had," he said.

The CVRD's 2014 general budget is available for viewing at cvrd.bc.ca, broken  down into separate documents for those interested in keeping tabs and providing their two cents.

The budget review consists of 130 services, each with a separate budget. Any service with funds remaining at year's end sees the money carried forward to next year's budget.

Services that might stand out to Cowichan Valley's citizens could include the 0.69% increase totaling $193,771 for the Ladysmith Transit service that was shifted this year to the CVRD's books.

Another large chunk of cash has been set aside for Emergency 9-1-1 infrastructure ($100,000) as well as Solid Waste Management ($175,000).

"Another issue that often comes up is regional grants in aid," Kueber said. "That seems to give people a certain amount of concern."

Currently there's $21,625 set aside to support local groups and organizations.

Individuals wishing to provide input can contact CVRD budget coordinator Steve Hurcombe at shurcombe@cvrd.bc.ca

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