April 11, 2013 - 9:52 AM
In the midst of budget discussions Tuesday morning Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar checked with councillors to see if there would be an appetite for looking at expanding boundaries to include a mine within city limits – and council eagerly contemplated the possibility.
While most of the mine talk during recent council meetings has revolved around the proposed Ajax mine Milobar was actually referring to New Gold just west of city boundaries.
“Frankly we are the only level of government not benefiting from it,” Milobar said, “we would be incredibly optimistic to think it could be ready for 2014 tax year, likely 2015.”
The expectation of 2015 is a result of the amount of work to do evaluating the possibility and in preparing a case for annexation combined with the provincial election this year, both Milobar and Coun. Nancy Bepple explained. The pair both serve on an industrial tax base committee.
The municipal boundary currently runs along the curve of the Coquihalla, which borders the New Afton mine site, and the roads in the area are all provincial or federal so road maintenance should not be an issue, Milobar told council after Coun. Donovan Cavers expressed concern for being responsible for everything currently in between the city and the mine.
“I was wondering why we didn't do it a long time ago,” Coun. Pat Wallace said, noting it would be a great way to help reduce the tax rate burden on heavy industry in future years.
Coun. Marg Spina said the company and its employees already live here, there is already a fire services agreement in place and they access the hospital and other medical support. “It would be an acknowledgement of the services we already provide them.”
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New Afton mine (bottom left) is bordered by Hwy 5, which is the City of Kamloops boundary.
Image Credit: SOURCE/Google Earth
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013