Annex study hinges on funding source

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee could need $125,000 for phase two of its annexation impact study.

Investigating the long-term implications of annexation comes with a price.

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee could need  $125,000 for phase two of its annexation impact study.

“It’s a lot of money but there’s a great deal of utility to having that information,” said director Mike Macnabb.

Phase one suggested several individual annexations into a municipality have a cumulative negative impact on the electoral area that’s lost land.

A key concern is the electoral area has a reduced tax base and the ability to provide services.

It’s also been suggested development on land annexed into a municipality can conflict with  rural  uses, while an electoral area has a reduced voice at the regional district.

Beyond electoral areas, Macnabb says annexation can impact municipalities like Vernon, Enderby and Lumby.

“Other studies say that every time a municipality grabs more land, it creates an economic penalty for that municipality,” he said.

“You’ve got roads, policing and servicing for sewer and water. The extra tax base doesn’t cover the costs.”

Possible funding sources for phase two are the provincial government, local municipalities and other regional districts.

“We may have to break it down into smaller sections to accommodate the cost,” said Rick Fairbairn, EAAC chairperson.

Fairbairn believes it’s reasonable that municipalities may contribute financially to the project.

“It’s to everyone’s benefits to look at the full impact of annexation on a jurisdiction,” he said.