NVCA board approves 2018 budget, cuts back on meetings
News release from the Nottawsaga Valley Conservation Authority
The board of directors approved NVCA’s 2018 budget. The budget came in at $4.7 million, up $153,134 from 2017. Of this increase, $89,956 is coming from an increase to the municipal levy (shared among all 18 member municipalities), with the remainder coming from grants, fees for services, and other sources. Funds from municipal levy continue to represent 47% of NVCA’s revenues.
The budget document is available on the authority’s website at https://www.nvca.on.ca/about/PlansFinancials.
Ecological Net Gain Guidelines Coming
The board directed NVCA staff to develop guidelines for ecological offsets – situations where any loss of natural features through development are balanced through equivalent or better protections in other areas.
Through the review of development proposals, NVCA staff promote the protection of individual natural heritage features and a net gain to the overall natural heritage system. The new guidelines will provide clear direction for watershed stakeholders, municipal partners and the development community on how the authority will achieve a net gain of natural heritage features through ecological offsetting.
Staff will develop the guidelines in consultation with municipalities and variety of stakeholders, and with reference to existing ecological offset policies from other conservation authorities.
2018 Board Meeting Schedule
The board approved a pilot project to reduce the number of board meetings from the current 11 to 7 for 2018. Additional meetings will be held at the call of the chair, if required. The board will review the success of the reduced schedule at their September meeting.
During the meeting the board also:
· Received an update on permits and approvals issued by the authority between June and December. A total of 251 permits and clearances were issued, all within the timelines set by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
· Approved the use of funds to purchase 2018 ortho imagery (aerial photography).
· Approved the use of funds for the development of an updated Integrated Watershed Management Plan. A $168,000 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program is providing the bulk of the funding for this project. All 18 watershed municipalities and the counties of Simcoe, Dufferin and Grey are also providing support.
· Discussed the Province’s passing of the updated Conservation Authorities Act.
· Confirmed Friday, January 26, 2018, as the date of the NVCA’s annual general meeting.