South Shuswap. (Google maps)

Letter: Costs associated with South Shuswap incorporation may be more than bargained for

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District recently published a pamphlet titled “Incorporation Study: Understanding the Options” for Area C.

While helpful, it makes some points needing further exploration. With incorporation, we will be governed by an elected mayor and six councilors, all of whom will not work for free. Nor will they wish to work from home. So your new council will decide upon appropriate salaries (including support staff, office equipment, vehicles, etc.), and, of course, a suitable municipal hall for council offices and meetings.

These costs, including future municipal elections, have yet to be determined.

A new Municipality would assume responsibility for all local roads and road maintenance, including serious repairs required on Blind Bay Road, along which roadside shoulders are currently collapsing into the lake.

There is also the matter of the troublesome Sorrento Newsome Creek slide area, which federal and provincial governments continue to deflect to the community and home residents. Would this too become a new municipality’s responsibility?

Read more: Letter: Regional district’s neutrality questioned on South Shuswap incorporation

Read more: Omicron concerns push South Shuswap incorporation study open-house meetings online

The pamphlet bases calculations on a population of 4,550, but we all know this area will eventually exceed 5,000. With increased population comes the need for more services, and the automatic responsibility of policing. While council can decide on whether to build (or not) a local detachment, it is the province and RCMP who decide the ‘authorized strength’ (number of officers required). With substantive year-to-year increasing numbers of campers and boaters, in a holiday lake setting, and with legalized drug access now locally available, rest assured that two or three officers will not suffice.

So maybe review recent tax hikes in Lake Country and Salmon Arm, after having to accommodate retroactive policing salary increases.

Enough studies and let’s get on with it, but be cautious, for you may get more than you bargained for!

Ken Smith,

Blind Bay


newsroom@saobserver.net
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