RDOS anticipates stable budget

Residents of the rural areas of the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen will likely not face any increases or decreases in taxes.

Residents of the rural areas of the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen will likely not face any increases or decreases in taxes as the RDOS starts eyeing the budget for 2016.

“It looks pretty stable,” said Bill Newell, Chief Administrative Officer of the RDOS.

The first budget committee meetings started last week and the next meeting takes place on Thursday, Dec. 3.

“For us in the electoral areas, for most of our guys, it’s about fiscal responsibility they don’t have a lot of new things planned, they just like to keep the taxes stable,” Newell said.

One area in the midst of some projects is Area D, which is currently undergoing a governance study looking at the future of government and services in the many communities in the area. The governance study committee currently meets the first Monday of each month at the Okanagan Falls Community Centre. The process is in the early stages distributing fact sheets and information on RDOS services to citizens, but input from residents is always welcome.

“Until we get that study done we won’t know if there are any financial impacts, so it’s just a continuation of the study in 2016,” Newell said.

The area purchased land for parks in 2015, including a piece of property near Skaha Lake in Okanagan Falls, that are looking to be developed heading into the new year as part of the revitalization of downtown Okanagan Falls. The projects may get underway in the new year, but as of right now, there is nothing to budget for.

“They are working on that still. They haven’t come to the board for adoption,” Newell said. “Until you get that plan before the board there really isn’t anything to budget.”

Area E will be looking at borrowing bylaws for the possibility of purchasing parkland in Naramata.

“We are talking with the school district and the tree fruit company right now. They have parcels in some high-profile areas in Naramata right now that aren’t being used. We want to see if the citizens are interested in doing anything with those,” Newell said.

Area F will be unrolling an official community plan in 2016 and work will continue on the West Bench Water reservoir.

New to the budget this year will be the regional heritage strategy, though it is not an expensive venture according to Newell.

“If we get director assent on that, that could proceed in 2016. Not much of a cost to that, but it’s an important program,” Newell said. “The cost on a heritage program is very small.”

The service would create an inventory of heritage sites in the Regional District. After an assessment it would be determined if there would be any marketing campaign or protective measures put in place.

A revamping of the transit service is set to continue in 2016, however there won’t be any financial impact likely until 2017.

 

Just Posted

Okanagan a hot spot for film industry

Despite wet, smoky year Okanagan attracts $30 million in film production

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Albas takes on mortgage changes in town hall

Conservative MP mostly echoed chamber of commerce concerns but sparred with one attendee on details

Okanagan losing battle to preserve wetlands

Political will called for to create and enforce mitigation standards

Princeton woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

What’s happening

Find out about events happening in your community this weekend

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Loaded shotgun found in vehicle during Okanagan Falls traffic stop

Okanagan Falls man facing a number of weapons related charges

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Penticton businesses in the running for Small Business BC Awards

Two Penticton businesses have made it to the finals of the 15th Annual Small Business BC Awards

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Most Read