The Regional District North Okanagan passed it’s 2017 Fiscal plan that calls for spending of $88.7 million dollars this year.
It represents a hike of just over $25-million from last year but the good news is basically a zero per cent increase to taxpayers.
Chair Bob Fleming says the budget increase is due mainly to the fact they must start paying back loans for two major capital works projects.
“The two projects that bumped that up was the expansion of Kal Tire Place, plus about a million and a half was for the BX-Swan Lake Firehall expansion.”
Fleming says taxpayers won’t see really any increase on their bills though.
“There’s been a couple of debt issues that have been paid off which saves some money and those savings have been brought back into the budget so we are no longer paying principal and interest in the case of Greater Vernon two different loans, that money was used to reduce taxes.”
“Only the area that receives the service actually pays for the service, so if it’s a Greater Vernon service then its just the four participants in Greater Vernon, Coldstream Vernon and the two Electoral Areas and our contributions in parks is based on improvements.”
There are increases in the Parks budget this year that cover maintenance of the Okanagan Rail Trail and Crystal Waters Trail.