Sorrento and Blind Bay considered as possible municipality

CSRD pursues incorporation for population of just under 5,000 people in South Shuswap

The possibility of an incorporated municipality in the South Shuswap has taken a step closer to reality.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board discussed incorporation of Sorrento and Blind Bay at their Feb. 21 meeting. The board voted to endorse hypothetical municipal boundaries which would capture the existing Sorrento Village Centre and the entire Blind Bay residential area.

Incorporation of either Blind Bay or Sorrento into a municipality, and leaving the other part a rural area, was also studied and presented in the boundary analysis by the CSRD’s consultant, Allan Neilson, but was not supported.

Data from the 2016 census indicates the population of the potential Sorrento-Blind Bay incorporated area would be approximately 4,700. The report states it would have a population density comparable to many municipalities in B.C. Neilson said the team which crafted the proposed boundary did so to protect the hypothetical Sorrento-Blind Bay from increased costs, noting policing costs rise once communities reach a population of 5,000 residents.

The option for incorporating parts of Sorrento and Blind Bay into one municipality was the board’s preferred choice. According to Neilson’s report, the option fits best with local water and sewer systems, as well as the Sorrento-Blind Bay Fire Department’s coverage area.

Read more: Pros and cons of incorporation

Read more: Study looks at governance in South Shuswap region

The report states sufficient land for future infrastructure growth is included in the proposed boundary .

The proposed area was also chosen because it includes complete local roads that will easily facilitate transportation around the area but not so many as the cost of maintaining them will become unsustainable.

The assessed value of the properties in the proposed area sits at approximately $1.3 billion. The report states the assessed value would be greater than the base in 94 of B.C.’s 160 municipalities.

The final decision on incorporation will be up to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. The next step is a more in-depth restructure study which will consider factors such as the tax implications. After that study, Neilson said a referendum on the incorporation would likely be put to residents of the area up for incorporation.

Neilson said the Ministry has reviewed his report and is comfortable with how the incorporation process has proceeded so far.

Area C director Paul Demenok says it is clear that leaving things status quo, where the approximately 8,000 people who reside in the electoral area continue to be represented by only one director, is not an acceptable option.

“It’s just a little bit overwhelming to handle that kind of workload, and I think this represents a significant improvement in representation for all 8,000 people in Area C with either option,” he said.

If the proposed Sorrento-Blind Bay municipality is found unsuitable by the ministry, the resolution the CSRD board presented states their preference is that Area C be divided into two electoral areas. The proposed split would make Sorrento, Blind Bay, Notch Hill and the surrounding areas become one electoral area and the rest of Area C another.

A name has not been chosen for the proposed municipality yet.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Accused in suspected Shuswap home invasion faces additional charges

One of men charged in Dec. 28 incident faces four counts from two weeks earlier

Driver ticketed after rollover on Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Jeep Cherokee hit rock face before rolling multiple times

Foul play not currently suspected in death of man found near Sicamous

Body found in woods near vehicle linked to Edmonton police investigation of suspicious death

Boil water notice issued for North Shuswap community hall

Notice applies only to water system used by Scotch Creek facility

RCMP make request after safety flares prompt search on Shuswap Lake

Marine search and rescue crew finds boat unoccupied, no one in distress

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Summerland approves solar project

Despite community opposition, council voted 4-3 for Cartwright Mountain location

Police search for suspect in assault on woman in downtown Kelowna

Kelowna police received a report a woman had been assaulted by an unknown man on July 12

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Two positive COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm

The risk of exposure to the general public related to this farm is considered to be low

Oliver Town Hall closed to public as staffer displays COVID-19 symptoms

One staff member at Oliver Town Hall is being tested for coronavirus

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Horoscopes for the week of July 13

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

Most Read