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Regional district study leaving Okanagan Falls incorporation out of discussions

Regional District Area 'D' Director Tom Siddon recently met with a number of interest groups in the electoral area to form a governance committee to look at ways of improving governance within the present regional district framework.
July 09, 2015 - 8:30 PM

PENTICTON  - A study looking at the possibility of a new form of governance for Area 'D' in the Okanagan-Similkameen is underway.

Last November the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development approved a $50,000 governance study for Electoral Area 'D' of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Area director Tom Siddon says six interest groups, from irrigation districts to fire departments and private landowners, gathered with regional district officials in June to discuss the process. From that meeting a 10-member committee was formed from communities around the south end of Skaha Lake. The committee will work with a consultant to manage and oversee the governance study process.

Governance study chairperson Bob Daly says incorporation is not on the table at this point, rather improvements to governance within the context of the regional district is what the group will be considering.

Daly says the committee held its inaugural meeting last Monday, July 6. A request for a consultant will be put out this week and the committee plans to meet in early August to review consultants applications.

“The initial process will see the consultant hold meetings across the electoral area, in order to find out how things are running. Through the process, we’ll find out what issues, if any there are, then come up with creative ways to resolve them within the context of present regional district governance,” Daly says.

Once the consultant has been selected, a series of public meetings will be scheduled.

The governance study marks a change in direction for governance options in the area.  In March 2010 the regional district petitioned the Minister of Community and Rural Development to carry out an incorporation study for Okanagan Falls. The province declined the request, and as recently as the last municipal elections in November 2014, an incorporation study for Okanagan Falls and other communities lining the south end of Skaha Lake were still being discussed.

The province last conducted an incorporation study for the community in the early-1990s. Residents turned down incorporation for the community at that time.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was updated at 9:30 a.m., July 10, to correct the number of members on the governance committee.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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