The Columbia Shuswap Regional District board is recommending the proposed incorporation of a new Sorrento-Blind Bay municipality go to referendum. (Google Earth image)

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District board is recommending the proposed incorporation of a new Sorrento-Blind Bay municipality go to referendum. (Google Earth image)

Letter: With incorporation, tax dollars will ‘definitely stop’ in new South Shuswap municipality

‘Once incorporated, there is no turning back or recourse…’, says writer

RE: Sorrento-Blind Bay incorporation

March 2nd’s virtual Incorporation meeting confirmed the board’s intention to proceed to a referendum, and also highlighted a few other items. Namely, the provincial government has clearly indicated that repairing our crumbling Blind Bay Road is not a government priority in the near future. Simply put, this costly responsibility will be borne by any new municipality, if incorporated.

Secondly, Area C’s population is now confirmed to already exceed 5,000 people. It is no longer a question of whether or when will we be saddled with increased policing costs, but rather for how many police members and staff? Unfortunately, the authorized size of any police force is not decided by a mayor and council, but by the provincial government and RCMP. This means your police tax contributions will more than double, from 30 to 70 per cent!

For those area C residents concerned that tax dollars are going elsewhere, I can assure you your dollars will definitely stop here, starting with: building a new municipal hall, salaries for a mayor, council and staff, policing costs for at least four members and staff, road maintenance and reconstruction, etc..

As for transition grants and/or the size of potential government grants, the government can change it’s mind at any time, and indeed has done so. Once incorporated, there is no turning back or recourse, whether funding promises are kept, reduced or broken.

Are you willing to accept that risk during these unsettling and inflationary times?

Some area directors actually conduct town hall meetings to chat with constituents. Wouldn’t it be incredible if just once, our elected officials exhibited the same courtesy of taking time to ask our citizens what we wanted, instead of telling us what they think we want? Isn’t that the fundamental difference between democracy and dictatorship? Please, JUST SAY NO to incorporation!

Read more: Provincial approval needed for referendum on creation of new South Shuswap municipality

Read more: OPINION: Respectful discussions around South Shuswap incorporation encouraged

Ken Smith,

Concerned Citizens of Blind Bay

Columbia Shuswap Regional District