Residents of Osoyoos will have a short window to provide feedback on the upcoming budget before it goes before council on Feb. 28.
The draft budget would see the average home, with a value of $632,000, have a municipal taxes increase by $10.78 a month, sewer utility costs increase by $6.48 a month, water by $5.45 a month and garbage and recycling costs by $0.87 a month.
Those increases are split between meeting the costs of inflation to continue providing the current level of service from the town and with building a sustainability fund for long-term projects and replacing aging infrastructure.
According to the draft budget report, the town currently has about $10 million in existing debt, which would increase to $33 million if every item in the five-year capital projects budget was approved, with the sustainability fund intended to reduce that impact.
One of the more expensive general capital projects is replacing the bridge deck on Main Street, which is planned to be part of the 2024 budget with an estimated cost of $3 million.
It is the town’s water budget that has the largest share of expensive projects over the next five years.
The water capital projects budget includes a new groundwater treatment plant to treat the water from the community’s six wells. Currently, the water is failing to meet health regulations with higher manganese concentrations than what is allowed.
That water treatment plant is estimated to cost about $11.3 million spread out over four years. The report on the project in the budget also notes that it will not move forward without grant funding.
Flood and erosion proofing of several of the town’s wells are also estimated to be multi-million dollar projects that will take a couple of years to complete.
The last major project, which according to the report is intended to help cut down water usage and stave off expansion costs, is installing universal water metering across the domestic water service for an estimated cost of $4.7 million. According to the budget, $2.7 would be funded from the water reserve, with the remaining $2 million being borrowed.
The town sent out a news release on Feb. 21 calling for public feedback on the budget, either by sending their response in writing or by attending in person.
Written submissions can be mailed or hand-delivered to the town office at 8707 Main Street or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for written submission is 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2023.
The full financial plan can be viewed online or in person by going to the town’s office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the week.
To report a typo, email: email@example.com.
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