Two important meetings this week on Thursday, January 12:
If you are new to living in a Regional District (RD), here is a short video on how RD's budgets work. There are over 150 budgets in the RDOS. Citizens pay for the services provided to their Areas or sub-areas. Citizens also contribute to regional services like general government, regional trails, mosquito control, and conservation.
The draft budget has passed the first reading and is now available for public consultation. There are two more readings to go before the budget is final. Taxes will increase, and the impact will depend on where within Area F you live.
For budget items that pertain to Area F
The most significant increase is for Greater West Bench's fire protection provided by the City of Penticton. This year the bill is $398,868 (up from $359,613 in 2022). For comparison, the 2023 budget for Naramata's fire service is $541,880. Kaleden is $347,274, Apex is $363,894, and OK Falls is $433,941. Faulder, Meadow Valley, and North Beach citizens do not contribute to this service.
Area F's Parks budget is increasing to $149,302 from $120,000 last year. This ensures that our parks and pedestrian corridor are well maintained, and staff are available for the Mariposa Park upgrades. Faulder and Meadow Valley are also looking to add a playground to their community. All of Area contribute to this service.
Area F has budgeted $10,000 for the new soil deposition bylaw. This service is paid for by citizens in Greater West Bench.
Currently the budget has Area F services increasing by $77,015
For regional services like 911 Emergency Call System, Electoral Area Administration, General Government, etc., the increase is about 11% or $52,000 for Area F. The increase is primarily due to staffing and investing in the IT department.
If the budget is passed as is and your home is valued at $800,000, you can anticipate about $130 increase to your taxes.
Please attend the information meetings on Thursday if you can. I would like to hear from the community on both the Budget and Soil Deposition Bylaw.
Thank you for reading,