Scope of annex study considered

Fiscal constraints may limit the scope of a review into rural properties joining municipalities.

Fiscal constraints may limit the scope of a review into rural  properties joining municipalities.

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee has been told that $102,000 may not be enough to do  all aspects of an annexation impact study.

“We may choose not to do some parts because it’s so costly,” said director Mike Macnabb.

The goal of the study is to consider the perspective of electoral areas when individual properties are moved into the boundaries of adjacent municipalities such as Vernon, Enderby and Lumby.

Among the concerns are that annexations reduce an electoral area’s tax base and the ability to support services. Annexations may also impact the sense of community.

The one component of the study that could be curtailed because of cost and workload ois a social analysis.

No matter how much of the study proceeds, Macnabb says the review is crucial because the direct impact on electoral areas has not been considered before.

“The Ministry of Community Development is interested in this process,” he said.

The Regional District of North Okanagan has received a referral from the City of Vernon about the possible annexation of two properties on Star Road.

“Vernon is getting the message that they are to refer these items to the regional district and communicate,” said Rick Fairbairn, committee chairperson.

Macnabb hopes Vernon will ultimately reconsider its ultimate boundaries, which takes in much of his constituency in the BX.

“They struggle with their current boundaries,” he said of providing services.