Regional District Services
Regional districts provide services on
many scales – they provide local services to unincorporated rural communities,
to entire electoral areas, to several electoral areas and municipalities, and
sometimes to the entire region. With so many options in terms of scale of
service, regional districts are able to take advantage of economies of scale
and still ensure that local needs are met.
Some of the more common services provided by regional districts include:
A regional district may operate a service directly, or
enter into contracts with other public authorities or private organizations.
While most services are delivered within the
boundary of the regional district, the
regional district board may also deliver services
outside its boundary under certain circumstances.
Each service provided by a regional
district has its own operating and capital budgets, the costs of which are
recovered only from the area that benefits from
the service. Although regional district services are mostly funded by
property taxes, user fees and
grants from other governments are
other common sources of service funding particularly for capital-intensive projects such as
Property owners who benefit from several property tax-funded services will see separate tax
rates for each service on their tax bill.
regional districts have broad authority operate
any service that the board considers necessary or desirable for all or part of
the regional district. The range of services provided by regional districts can
be quite large.
Among the wide variety of optional services, there are few that
regional districts are required to provide. These include general
administration, land-use planning
in electoral areas, and solid waste management planning.
In order to provide a new service, the regional district must adopt a "service area
establishment bylaw". This bylaw outlines what the service is, how it will be
delivered, who will benefit from the service, the maximum amount it will cost,
and how the costs will be recovered.
Where services are provided to several
areas within the regional district, some negotiation may be involved to
reach agreement among representatives of the benefiting areas on the specific
The decision to establish a new service is made by the
entire regional board, although the electors or representatives of the
benefiting areas must provide consent as they will bear the cost of the
service. In addition, service area establishment bylaws must be approved by the Inspector
Once a service has been established, the full board
continues to be involved in certain instances, but decisions related to a
specific service are the responsibility of those members of the board who
represent the areas that receive the service. It is therefore the
representatives of those who receive the service that decide how it will be run.