The Regional District of Central Okanagan has approved its 2017 budget. (Hemera Technologies)                                Wayne Carson

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has approved its 2017 budget. (Hemera Technologies) Wayne Carson

North Westside director blasts budget

The Regional District of Central Okanagan’s budget has been approved for 2017

The Regional District of Central Okanagan’s budget is coming under fire.

Directors have adopted the 2017 financial plan bylaw.

“The influence we are seeking as electoral area directors on behalf of our constituents is still being outvoted by the board,” said Wayne Carson, North Westside director.

“Planning costs are still too high and there is never any money for capital funding in the parks. Water rates are imposed on us by other communities.”

Carson says he and the director for Central Okanagan East didn’t support a centralized manager for the electoral area fire service but regional district staff then directed that money to the four fire halls.

“The regional district has done an end-run. They aren’t supporting the position of the electoral area directors.”

According to RDCO, the budget brings a decrease in the regional district portion of the tax bills for most average property owners.

“The 2017 operating budget totals just over $64.7 million which includes $29.7-million for operations, $4.95 million to reserves for future capital projects and $30 million in Municipal Finance Authority debt payments on behalf of member municipalities and the Okanagan Regional Library. This year $15.9-million will be spent on important capital and infrastructure projects,” says RDCO.

In other financial matters, Carson has approved a $1,600 grant for the North Westside Communities Association to hold an Easter egg hunt and Canada Day festivities while $1,500 will go to the North Westside Sports Club for youth soccer.

“They are a sign of our community,” said Carson.