The Killiney Beach Community Hall is the heartbeat of the North Westside but a stable source of cash is required to keep it pumping.
Residents from La Casa to Westshore Estates will be asked Nov. 19 if they want to fund hall operations at an annual cost not to exceed 0.05 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
“There are people who are supportive but there are others who don’t want to be taxed no way no how,” said Marsali MacIver, North Westside Communities Association president.
A public information meeting will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the hall on Udell Road.
The 27-year-old hall is owned by the association, and operations and maintenance are covered by membership dues. But while the area’s population and operating costs have increased, memberships have not climbed, creating financial pressures.
“We need a new furnace and repairs are needed to the annex where we have the community library,” said MacIver.
As of June, the hall had a $3,560 shortfall, and a GIC is being tapped to handle the situation.
To establish a long-term plan, the association approached the Regional District of Central Okanagan to hold a referendum to use taxation as a source of sustainable funds.
Based on 0.05 cents per $1,000 assessment, a $350,000 property would pay $17.50 a year in service area tax.
MacIver points out that 0.05 is the maximum level outlined in the proposed bylaw, but she suggests the rate could actually be 0.365 cents or $12.78 for a $350,000 home.
To ensure transparency of tax dollars, the association would form an advisory committee to consider spending.
“The organization also has to supply reports to the regional district, including an annual budget,” said MacIvor, adding that the tax rate can’t be raised without taxpayers’ assent.
Ownership of the hall would remain with the association.
The hall plays host to dances, meetings, children’s programs, a church and seniors’ activities.
“We have yoga. We have line dancing. There is a group called Mom’s and Muffins which provides respite care for mothers,” said MacIver.
The community library means residents don’t have to go to Vernon for reading material.
“From the time it opens to the time it closes on Saturdays, there is a train of young families coming in,” said MacIver.
For more information, go to www.regionaldistrict.com/departments/admin/election2005/referendum2005.aspx