Penticton paying lion’s share of regional costs

I see in the Western News of Aug 24, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has two ads. One is for a public hearing to permit establishing meteorological towers within areas that border on the City of Penticton. The other ad targets reduction of greenhouse gases in the various RDOS area Official Community Plans. The purpose is testing to establish where to place a wind farm in this area.

I see in the Western News of Aug 24, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has two ads. One is for a public hearing to permit establishing meteorological towers within areas that border on the City of Penticton. The other ad targets reduction of greenhouse gases in the various RDOS area Official Community Plans. The purpose is testing to establish where to place a wind farm in this area.

This could affect the property values and quality of life of residents of Penticton that live on land that borders the RDOS from the northeast side of Okanagan Lake to the southeast side of Skaha Lake.

During healthier economic times Penticton used to ante up an additional $350,000 annually to have a vote in RDOS jurisdictional matters. That is a lot of money for a small city like Penticton, and pretty expensive membership costs when Penticton residential taxpayers are being squeezed dry providing public facilities used 25 to 27 per cent by the residents of the outlying communities. Pentictonites should compare this with the $20,000 that the West Bench (Area F) contributes to our community centre/library. (This is an old agreement and does not cover increased infrastructure or operating costs due to the recent renovation.) It is better than nothing but not enough and the other areas contribute nothing.

Something is seriously out of whack.

With tighter budgets, Penticton council decided to refrain from spending $350,000 each year to vote on RDOS jurisdictional matters. During slowdowns this does not matter. However, as activity increases it can have far-reaching consequences. As the RDOS is updating their OCPs, Pentictonites should be vigilant to the long-term consequences this could have for them.

Abbotsford has applied to withdraw from their regional district, claiming it would save them $1.4 million a year. Vernon also seems to be having some problems with claims by their regional district that their mayor is obstructive. Maybe he is tired of the expensive membership fees also.

Collaboration towards common goals is the key to the successful interface of the various boards of governance. That does not happen here, or apparently in Abbotsford and now Vernon.

Penticton is like the young lady in slightly tattered clothes that antes up entrance fees to belong to an exclusive club. They take her money, but once in when she factors in all the additional fees; she is never quite rich enough to join the party.

Elvena Slump

 

Penticton