Cariboo Regional District Board. (Submitted photo)

Cariboo Regional District Board. (Submitted photo)

Recreation vote top priority in South Cariboo for 2022

The proposed plan aims to create a new taxation area

A referendum on the expansion of the South Cariboo Recreation and Culture taxation boundary set for next year remains a top priority for local officials, following the endorsement of the 2022 business, financial and capital plans last week.

The proposed plan – set to be voted on in June 2022 – aims to create a new taxation area that would include Cariboo Regional District Electoral Areas G (108 Mile Ranch-Lac La Hache), H (Forest Grove-Canim Lake) and L (Lone Butte-Interlakes), as well as the District of 100 Mile House.

The proposal includes a taxation limit of $3.75 million, which translates to approximately $100 per $100,000 of assessed property value, and would allow the CRD to establish a new recreational service that supports existing facilities and potentially fund new ones, such as an aquatic centre.

The current recreation boundary ends at 108 Mile Ranch and Lone Butte.

Darron Campbell, the CRD’s manager of community services, noted that the taxation for the existing area is holding steady at a one per cent increase for 2022, but warned if the proposed boundary expansion does not come into effect, that figure would likely need to be adjusted.

“Looking forward, if the referendum is not successful, we will probably have to look at some future (tax) adjustments that would at least keep up with some of the inflationary costs,” Campbell said, noting that insurance costs at the recreation facilities have increased by 30 to 40 per cent over the past year.

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“That definitely affects our operating budget moving forward.”

Other goals outlined for 2022 include repaving the parking lot and relocating the light standards – at an estimated cost of $500,000 – and the installation of solar panels at the South Cariboo Rec Centre, quoted to cost $225,000.

The estimate for the solar panel project came in lower than expected, Campbell pointed out, following a site visit by Kelowna-based consultants Falcon Engineering.

“The building is very well situated for a solar panel project,” Campbell said. “Based on the recommendations from Falcon Engineering, the system would generate enough electricity to save us between $10,000 and $15,000 annually on our power bill.”

Campbell added the panels will have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years and will provide a “significant payoff period” based on the savings from the rec centre’s current electricity costs.

“We’d be able to enjoy an immediate benefit to the operating budget of the South Cariboo Rec Centre if that project is implemented, which is the plan for next year,” he said.

Projects planned for 2023 include upgrades to the curling rink to improve the building’s energy efficiency and replacement of the score clock while capital projects for 2024 include lift station replacement, a digital highway sign and upgraded concession equipment.



melissa.smalley@100milefreepress.net

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Cariboo Regional District