Region’s needs are not being addressed

South Okanagan residents should be asking themselves: Is the RDOS worth the asking price?

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board is going through the process of deciding where to spend our $4.7 million in annual gas tax rebates. Michael Brydon, director of Area F, wants to use the money on the RDOS trail system. He argued Penticton benefits as trail-using German tourists stay in Penticton facilities.

Yet by all accounts, Europe is in a rapid state of decline and tourism cannot be depended upon for the indefinite future.

Brydon also argued that the $4.7 million rebate loses its impact if split up into trivial amounts for different projects by the municipalities.

Tell this to Pentictonites that need $1.2 million to offset the cost of 3,100 energy-efficient LED streetlights and are facing annual deficits in running costs of their public facilities.

Or tell is to Oliver, in desperate need of road upgrades. Or Princeton that wants a swimming pool for their residents; their referendum on the pool incidentally was defeated by surrounding rural residents.

Cities across B.C. are facing unsustainable costs, and debt levels are rising to compensate for increased public standards for public facilities.

Gas tax rebates were set up to provide another level of income for municipalities, not give rural districts another way to fleece the cities and towns so they can keep rural taxes low.

In 2010, Abbotsford contributed $3 million to the Fraser Valley Regional District. After complaints from Abbotsford, the FVRD reduced the amount by $720,000 in 2011.

The FVRD was forced to make staff reductions to compensate for rapidly rising taxes in rural communities as Abbotsford’s share lessened.

After almost 10 months of study and in-camera meetings, Abbotsford in November voted 8-1 in favour of asking the provincial government for permission to leave the FVRD. They expect to save a further $759,000 a year in addition to the previous lowering of costs.

Abbotsford’s in-depth study claims they can provide all the services presently done by the FVRD, at a cost of just $1.4 million. At $3 million a year, Abbotsford’s overpayment for 10 years is $16 million. For past 40 years the FVRD has been in existence: $64 million. That almost pays for Abbotsford’s new arena, costs they are having difficulty handling.

B.C.’s municipalities should look at the serious disconnect between costs and services of the RDOS. Abbotsford did and found it wanting.

Residents of Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos, Summerland, Keremeos and Summerland should be asking themselves: Is the RDOS worth the asking price or do we need a better deal?

Elvena Slump

 

Penticton

 

 

Just Posted

South Okanagan man honoured with lifetime achievement award

The late Nick Bevanda to receive a lifetime achievement award for his architecture work

South Okanagan dangerous offender guilty plea struck down

Trial delayed again because Ronald Teneycke failed to elect his choice of trial

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Ellis Creek restoration comes with $30 million price tag for Penticton

Residents are able to provide feedback on the restoration plan until Nov. 1

City of Penticton weighs need for a manager of social development

Members of council are divided on whether the position is necessary

Competition shakes up for the Okanagan Mixoff

The Okanagan Mixoff takes place Nov. 7 in Kelowna

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Six bears destroyed in three days in West Kelowna

A West Kelowna business has been charged for leaving garbage around Lake Okanagan Resort

West Kelowna Warriors being sold back to BC Hockey League

Current owner Kim Dobranski said the sale back to the BCHL should be completed by the end of October

Police standoff ends peacefully in West Kelowna

A distraught man was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

Most Read