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Lake Country economy continues to boom

Wood Lake in Lake Country.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/District of Lake Country
April 20, 2017 - 9:56 AM

LAKE COUNTRY - It’s hard to miss what’s happening in Lake Country these days as the community continues to break historic records for economic growth. Hot on the heels of a province-wide Open for Business Award, the booming Okanagan community continues to set the pace for both residential construction and new commercial activity.

“While 2016 was the busiest construction year since incorporation in 1995, with $92,832,229 in total construction activity; the first quarter of 2017 has blasted by the first quarter figures from 2016 by 18% with $18,511,845 YTD in 2017 compared to $15,710,565 for the first quarter of 2016,” explains Mayor James Baker.  Quick to admit that managing such rapid growth is not always easy, Baker adds: “we are working really hard to provide residents with access to world class amenities such as the recently purchased Okanagan Rail Trail and by completing a brand new Parks and Recreation Master Plan.”         

With a whopping 111 new single family homes built in 2016, the municipal Council is using the additional revenue received from new growth to offset the need to further burden existing tax payers, while implementing ambitious plans to install new sidewalks and pedestrian linkages as well as renew critical aging infrastructure. In 2016, this new growth brought in the equivalent of an almost 4% tax increase to Lake Country, which the Council used to fund needed parks, recreation, sewer, water, and other programs throughout the community.

“As our community evolves, it is really interesting to see is how commercial development is now driving a lot the recent activity, with active Business Licenses topping 680 in 2016 – which is 20% ahead of the historic average of 568,” explains Mark Koch, Lake Country’s Director of Community Services. “For a community with almost 15,000 residents, we have been historically underserved as far as commercial options go, so it’s great to see more local business choices now available within the community.”   

Looking forward, while Mayor Baker is pleased that Lake Country is a community of choice for new residents, he is quick to highlight the ongoing importance of the community’s agricultural heritage and planning for the future. The District will be engaging residents through the upcoming review of the Official Community Plan this year.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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