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City to lose $80,000 which supports recreation centre

The province is putting its foot down on payments it says have been inappropriately flowing into Salmon Arm infrastructure.

Coun. Kevin Flynn, on Monday, apprised Salmon Arm council of what’s been happening with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) budget.

Flynn, who sits on the CSRD board, first provided some positive news in that the originally proposed CSRD tax requisition to the city of 22 per cent may be lowered to about 10 or 11 per cent. This would translate into $79 per municipal taxpayer instead of $84.

The bad news, said Flynn, is that the city will no longer receive from the province, through the CSRD, payments in lieu of taxes intended for areas impacted by dams. This amounts to $80,000 annually that had been used to support the recreation centre.

The payments have been coming to the city for 20 years. Flynn suggested this was because the city, while not impacted by dams in the Revelstoke area, was affected by things such as housing demands.

“Those payments in lieu of taxes have been a controversial issue forever, and I don’t know enough of the history…,” Flynn told the Observer.

“But the decision was made to give dollars to the Salmon Arm community centre years ago, and it’s quite apparent that the province doesn’t feel that’s appropriate anymore.”

Flynn said he and Mayor Marty Bootsma have argued the city has already done its budget and that payments be phased out. And while he thinks this will happen, he said the city could still lose $40,000 this year and $80,000 the next, or lose nothing this year and have to deal with the impact in 2012.

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