Council concerned School Site Acquisition Charge may create unfair business environment | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Council concerned School Site Acquisition Charge may create unfair business environment

Image Credit: DWK
November 15, 2012 - 12:19 PM

A School District No. 23 decision requiring the district to collect charges on developments to help fund school board building projects has once again met with disappointment with West Kelowna Council.

More highlights from the Nov. 13 District of West Kelowna Council meeting:

School Site Acquisition Charge

Council was informed that the Board of Education of School District No. 23 passed a School Site Acquisition Charge Bylaw requiring the District to collect charges on eligible developments within its boundaries. These charges will fund the Eligible School Sites Proposed created by the Central Okanagan Board of Education. The District has until November 25, 2012 to implement the charge. West Kelowna Council opposed the School Site Acquisition Charge, taking its concerns to arbitration last year and sending a resolution for consideration at the Union of BC Municipalities convention. Council's concerns that the charge created an unfair business environment because the charge is to be levied on developments within West Kelowna but not on development on First Nations land were not upheld. Council agreed to write a letter to the School District, Ministry of Education and West Kelowna's MLA expressing disappointment with the charge.


Addition to Reserve Process

Senior staff with the federal Indian and Northern Affairs Canada attended Council to provide and receive information on the ongoing review of the Addition to Reserve Policy Process. An Addition to Reserve is a parcel of land that is added to an existing First Nation reserve. West Kelowna Council is interested in ensuring that a review of the policy takes into consideration issues of concern that municipalities like West Kelowna have. The discussion can be viewed via webcast on the District's website under Mayor & Council/Webcast.


Stormwater Best Management Practices

Council adopted Storm Water Best Management Practices Manual and directed staff to include the manual in its new Subdivision and Servicing Bylaw. The manual establishes a framework of supporting principals related to storm water management that include:


- Construction

- Planning and design

- Storm water quality control

- Storm water conveyance, detention and retention options

- Inspection, maintenance and record keeping


This document is supplement to the Storm Drainage Design Criteria Manual; both manuals support the Master Drainage Plan.


Roads Maintenance Transition Communication Plan

Council received information on a Communications Plan that has been developed to support the upcoming Roads Maintenance transition. On October 16, Council awarded a five year contract to HMC Services Inc. for road maintenance beginning December 7, 2012. Council further requested a communications plan to be prepared to ensure the transition of road maintenance is seamless. The plan will provide staff, stakeholders and the public easily accessible information on road maintenance. Highlights of the plan include: 


- Council and front line staff will be provided with answers to Frequently Asked Questions and a Service & Phone Directory

- Report to Council in January 2013 on calls for service

- Stakeholders Notice to ARGO, emergency services, neighbouring local governments, School District 23, Transit

- Public Service Announcements

- Website News and Webpage updates - including updated snow clearing priority map

- Brochures - at Municipal Hall, Bartley & Elliot Road locations

- Advertisements in Westside Weekly

- Information in January 2013 District-wide Newsletter


The cost of the plan is estimated to be $932.


Westside Medical Centre

Council received an update on its ongoing health care services needs assessment and directed staff to contact the Regional District of Central Okanagan, the District of Peachland and Westbank First Nations to request letters of support for the development of a business case for the construction of a medical facility in West Kelowna. Council received a report on data collection underway and was advised the Interior Health has applied for a further 5-year exclusion from the Agricultural Land Reserve of property it owns at Brown Road and Elliott Road.

News from © iNFOnews, 2012

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