June 26, 2015 - 2:30 PM
KELOWNA – Big White Ski Resort, one of the largest in B.C., is not quite big enough to qualify as a municipality. At least not yet.
For the last year the Big White Chamber of Commerce has been actively investigating the possibility of becoming a Mountain Resort Municipality, similar to Sun Peaks Resort in Kamloops.
After a recent meeting with officials in Victoria, the Chamber learned the community has yet to meet the province’s conditions for the new designation.
The current population of Big White is approximately 300.
“The financial commitment of ski hill road maintenance at Big White, which is currently 11 kilometres, would be fiscally impossible to manage without a major tax increase for residents,” a media release from the Chamber of Commerce says. “The Ministry officials were however, very supportive of Big White's need for new and different services as it grows into a year-round operation with more families, retirees, and entrepreneurs moving there permanently.”
Provincial government officials recommended the formation of a Local Community Commission, comprised of four elected members from the community, plus a Regional Director.
The Chamber says they will work on alternate models for growth for the moment, but will likely be revisiting the option of becoming a municipality again within the next five years.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015