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Shuswap Watershed Council to continue without voter approval

Province supports extension of Columbia Shuswap Regional District service beyond 2020
The province has agreed to allow the Shuswap Watershed Council to continue for up to another three years without going through a voter assent process. (File photo)

The province has allowed the Shuswap Watershed Council continue to function without voter approval.

The Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) was set to expire at the end of 2020. However, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) announced the Inspector of Municipalities was willing to allow the SWC to continue for up to another three years without voter assent.

With the B.C. government having temporarily changed options for voter assent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CSRD board Chair Kevin Flynn wrote to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to ask for an exception allowing the SWC to continue.

The Inspector of Municipalities agreed to allow the extension provided the SWC’s participants from Electoral Areas C, D, E and F and the District of Sicamous gave their consent.

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CSRD directors voted unanimously to support the Inspector of Municipalities’ proposal in principle. To formally accept the ministry’s offer, amendments to the CSRD’s bylaw will be required. The amendments and a timeline for the council will be discussed at the July 16 regular board meeting.

The SWC’s mandate is to collaborate, promote, protect and monitor water quality in those parts of the Shuswap Watershed that make up the service area, as well as to promote recreational water safety. The 2020 parcel tax requisition for the SWC service is $10.56 per property, however, this can vary slightly from year to year depending on changes to the assessment roll.

According to the CSRD, the extension is also conditional on:

• the extension of the SWC service does not go beyond three years;

• the maximum tax requisition limit stays the same as the current rate;

• the approval of electors (alternative approval process or referendum) is sought for any plans to make the service permanent or to further extend it the beyond the terms of this agreement.

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