Westside residents may head to the polls for community hall

North Westside referendum considered for tax hike to fund community hall

There’s interest among some North Westside residents to hike taxes for their community hall.

A meeting was held Wednesday to discuss the North Westside Communities Association’s proposal for a referendum on a tax designated for maintenance and capital needs at the Udell Road hall.

“We wanted to get feedback from residents and where they want to go with this,” said Marsali MacIver, association president.

Based on the meeting, the association has asked the Regional District of Central Okanagan to initiate the process for a referendum this November.

“The regional district has staff working on what needs to go to Victoria,” said MacIver of the provincial legislative process required to establish referendums.

The association has suggested that a specific tax is necessary to ensure there are sufficient financial resources to maintain the hall and prepare for any long-term capital needs.

Presently, operating funds come from association membership dues.

If the levy were to proceed, a rate has not been determined yet.

“We have sent the regional district a budget on the last three years’ expenses and revenues and they will look at what it takes to adequately run the hall,” said MacIver.

“We don’t want it to be an onerous burden on taxpayers.”

Jim Edgson, RDCO director for the North Westside, believes Wednesday’s meeting indicated that there’s at least public support for taking the tax to referendum.

“People are more than just open to the concept,” he said.

“There was some frank and open discussion. It was a very vital discussion.”

However, Edgson admits that there are a number of legislative steps that must occur if there is to be a referendum in November.

 

“What’s proposed is a draft and there’s still a lot of work to do. There are timelines we have to do,” he said.