Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors had to move fast at the Sept. 17 board meeting.
The regional district was running out of time in getting approval for the amended Shuswap Watershed Council Service Establishment bylaw by Sept. 30 from the province’s Inspector of Municipalities.
At the Aug. 20 meeting, directors gave third reading to the bylaw, and agreed on the alternative approval process to get elector assent on the $180,000 required to fund the council, to be paid in a parcel tax by Area C South Shuswap, D Falkland/Silver Creek/Salmon Valley, E Rural Sicamous, District of Sicamous and Area F North Shuswap property owners.
If 10 per cent or more of the eligible electors sign and submit response forms noting their opposition, local governments cannot proceed with the proposed matter without first holding a vote.
In order to get the service established in 2016, elector response must be received by CSRD no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17.
At the Sept. 17 board meeting, South Shuswap director Paul Demenok expressed his concern about the wording of the proposed Elector Response form that directors were being asked to approve.
Instead of the total, Demenok asked that individual parcel tax amounts be included as $180,000 figure might scare people.
“I am not sure that’s permitted under the Local Government Act,” responded Jodi Pierce, manager of financial services. “If it doesn’t get approved today it would be pushed back to the next meeting and then the clock starts again.”
That means there would have to be another report to the board for directors to approve the process.
“Once CSRD has approval from the inspector, and only then, can we advertise that we are holding an alternative approval process…Then there needs to be 30 clear days from the date of the last advertisement in which the public has time to register their opposition by way of the approved form,” says Pierce.