A map showing the proposed boundaries for an incorporated municipality made up of the communities of Sorrento and Blind Bay. (Contributed)

Public input vital to Sorrento-Blind Bay incorporation study

Details are expected to be ironed out by Feb. 2021, a referendum could follow

The committee in charge of envisioning the details of an incorporated Sorrento and Blind Bay wants to inform their work with participation from the public.

John Smith, chair of the incorporation study advisory committee, says public participation is essential before a new municipality can become reality through a public referendum.

Smith said the committee has met twice already and is now getting into discussion regarding the services the newly-created municipality would offer residents. He said attendance and input from the public would be appreciated at the committee’s next meeting at 6 p.m. on Feb. 12 at the Cedar Heights Community Centre. Questions from the public will be fielded at every meeting.

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The committee’s goal is to create a model for what incorporation would look like. The primary task is detailing what services the new municipality would deliver and what it will cost residents. Once the model for incorporation has been created, Smith said it will be presented to the wider public in open houses and public input will be especially important at those meetings.

A report can be expected from the Province detailing conditions of the roads in the area and an expected annual cost to maintain them. He said it is possible the Province will conduct upgrades or provide grant funding to ensure roads are in top shape before they become the responsibility of the new municipality.

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The process of developing the incorporation model will be ongoing. In February 2021, after developing the model and informing the public about it, it will be up to the committee to recommend to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District whether it should go to a referendum or not.

Smith said the most important thing to him and the rest of the committee is that South Shuswap residents have a really good idea of what is in store for them should they choose to move forward with incorporation or not.

The CSRD board decided that electoral Area C, the electoral area with the largest population, will be divided into two electoral areas if incorporation doesn’t proceed.


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