The Columbia Shuswap Regional District remains at the forefront of BC local governments through its progressive program delivery, its diversification and its growth.
Facilitating and managing the future direction of our region, while delivering a wide range of daily services and programs to the six electoral areas and four member municipalities remains the operational focus of the Regional District. I am pleased with my staff's continued efforts to maintain and manage these services in a cost-efficient and responsible manner.
We deliver services in response to the public’s requests, consideration for the environment and sound business practices. The list of services we provide grows annually, with that number now exceeding 100. It is a reality, however, that demands for services far exceed our funding abilities. Priorities have to be set. Local governments must continue to work hard to reconcile increasing service demands and costs with scarce resources. Our challenge will be to ensure that our spending on programs and services is both sustainable and affordable for our taxpayers over the long term.
The CSRD's services vary from those that are local in nature (such as water systems and fire suppression), to sub-regional services that are provided to a number of areas (such as milfoil control within the Shuswap), to region-wide services that are provided to all areas of the CSRD (such as land use planning, 9-1-1 service, refuse disposal and recycling).
Some of the new services added include the acquisition and planned development of the Rail Trail initiative, as we work together with the Splatsin First Nation and the Regional District of North Okanagan. This project will revamp the abandoned rail corridor between Sicamous and Armstrong into a multi-use recreational trail network and leave an important legacy for CSRD residents and visitors to enjoy far into the future.
In recognizing the need for better communication with the public, we are working towards an enhanced presence in both traditional and social media and new ways to keep you informed about how the CSRD's dollars are spent and how this affects your daily life. Our new hashtag is reflective of that -- #YourCSRD. You, the citizens of the CSRD, have an ownership stake in our organization. We recognize and respect this concept, and you should expect nothing less than a Board of Directors and staff who operate with openness, transparency and consideration for our constituents.
The increasing challenges and workload will continue. The CSRD, however, is well positioned to meet these challenges. Our efforts will be focused towards providing services and supporting programs that will create a healthy, vibrant and environmentally sustainable future for all our residents.