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





Just Posted

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

(File photo)
Reports of aggressive deer in Penticton prompt warning from city

Expect female deer to be more aggressive over the next two months

(File photo)
Mobile drop-in vaccination clinic coming to Oliver

All those in the Oliver area who have not yet received their first dose are eligible for the vaccine

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read