Area C to pay more in 2013

Area C to pay more in 2013

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Rising mosquito control costs and loan payments for Frank Venables Auditorium are big factors in Area C residents facing a seven per cent increase in taxes this year.

Rural Oliver will pay $86,871 more in 2013, from $1,180,036 last year to 1,266,907 this year.

For the average homeowner, this equates to a $31 increase (from $455 last year to $486 this year). The tax rate is $1.86 per $1,000 of assessed value.

These figures were disclosed by regional district chief financial officer Warren Everton last week.

Everton said the mosquito control budget has increased substantially ($48,000), with Area C’s tax requisition being $26,000. He noted staff have had to deal with a lot of standing water (where mosquitos breed) in rural Oliver over the past couple of years.

Area C director Allan Patton said mosquito control is important “to take care of our sanity” and for tourism.

Everton said loan payments for Frank Venables are ramping up as well. For example, the tax requisition in 2012 was $23,788, compared to $51,830 this year (a 118 per cent increase). The loan balance sits at $2.3 million.

Other tax requisition increases include parks and recreation (two per cent), heritage (six per cent); refuse disposal (four per cent); untidy/unsightly bylaw (44 per cent); Willowbrook fire service (25 per cent); noise bylaw (seven per cent); and library, Sterile Insect Release, and Okanagan Basin Water Board (10 per cent).

Other factors impacting the budget this year include 9-1-1 dispatch infrastructure improvements, regional trails, and Solid Waste Management Plan.

During question period, resident Bill Eggert talked about increased dump fees and asked if the regional district gets back any eco-fees that people pay. Everton said no.

It was noted that people have to pay higher taxes when they become more eco-friendly. Patton said all of those fees should come back to the district.

Eggert expressed a concern about people using the back roads to dump their garbage because of increasing landfill fees.

Resident Dave Whalley expressed an interest in the trails plan, noting a bridge over the river at Vaseux Lake would be ideal.

Everton said the regional district would love to see that at McIntyre Bluff, noting that eventually the trail will continue through that area. Whalley asked about public access to the Golden Mile Trail. Patton said the problem is that private property owners are not anxious to open up their land for trails. But he noted they are looking at a trail from Tinhorn Creek to Eggert’s property.

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