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North Okanagan seeks more info on idea to govern Westside

RDNO staff have been directed to write a report outlining questions for a future study to answer
The Regional District of North Okanagan directors discussed the possibility of transferring the community of the North Westside from the Regional District of Central Okanagan to its own boundaries Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. ( photo)

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) is taking a step back from investigating the possibility of adding the North Westside to its boundaries until more information is gathered.

At its last meeting Jan. 18, the RDNO board of directors deferred a recommendation on the agenda to create a report that dives into the feasibility of the community on the west side of Okanagan Lake joining the RDNO. Instead, they directed staff to first write a report that outlines the questions that a study would need to answer in order to make an informed decision.

The directors also deferred a recommendation to seek grant funding to pay for an in-depth study until staff have a better idea of what the study should include.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan conducted the North Westside Governance and Services Study last year, which gathered the opinions of North Westside residents on their current governance through four open houses.

The study found that 63 per cent of respondents feel they currently receive an insufficient range of services from the RDCO. Seventy-three per cent said they do not receive good value for their taxes and 80 per cent felt Kelowna “has the ability to control the outcome of weighed votes,” overshadowing their concerns.

When it comes to North Westside’s local interests, 87 per cent said they are not well-represented in the RDCO decision-making process.

Only 54 per cent expressed a connection to other Central Okanagan communities, and 37 per cent expressed no such connection.

It is expected that a report outlining questions in need of answers will be presented to the RDNO board at its next meeting on Feb. 15, when staff will also be tasked with working on grants to fund an additional study.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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