December 18, 2012 - 10:45 AM
Penticton council passed a zero per cent tax increase for the city as they adopted the 2013 budget.
For the third year in a row, the city has taken it easy on taxpayers with a 0.5 per cent increase in 2011 and zero per cent for 2012. The coming tax rate is in line with a recent citizen survey indicating 76 per cent of residents recommended Penticton maintain current levels of service and taxation.
The city announced maximized spending in areas supporting community vibrancy and economic development, including a West Okanagan Lake waterfront enhancement project featuring a multi-use path reconstruction along Lakeshore Drive. The project will receive grant support while the city contributes $650,000. Gas tax funding will cover $1.2 million.
A multi-phase downtown Penticton revitalization process will begin with $1.25 million approved to refurbish the Martin Street-Westminster Avenue-Winnipeg Street area. The idea is to create an appealing gateway entrance to downtown that supports the expected increase of public interest created by the opening of Landmark Cinemas in the fall.
A new playground will be built in partnership with the community at Skaha Lake. The city has committed $85,000 to the project while the South Okanagan Children's Charity is raising funds toward the "discovery park" concept.
Budget deliberations were made accessible live through social media this year. Residents had the option of using Twitter and were able to ask questions during presentations that were handled by staff.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012