West Kelowna requests infrastructure tax breaks at UBCM

BC Hydro may be closer to a decision on where to put a second power line into West Kelowna.

  • Sep. 29, 2016 7:00 p.m.

West Kelowna

On Wednesday, Sept. 28 at the Union of BC Municipalities convention, members of West Kelowna council met with B.C.’s finance minister.

The topic for discussion was a PST exemption on municipal projects and BC Hydro to get an update on the West Kelowna Transmission Project.

West Kelowna reps also joined the Regional District of Central Okanagan in its meeting with B.C.’s Environment Minister to discuss biosolids.

The City of West Kelowna presented the following notes regarding the UBCM meetings in a press release.

On Wednesday, council members met with the Hon. Michael de Jong, Minister of Finance to discuss the city’s interest in seeing municipalities exempt from paying the Provincial Sales Tax on critical infrastructure projects. This is also the subject of a resolution put forward by the City of West Kelowna for consideration by the UBCM membership.

“I would say he found it to be a very interesting idea,” Mayor Doug Findlater said in the press release. ”Obviously the province is looking at the revenue side of things with PST, but we made our case.”

• BC Hydro representatives to get an update on the West Kelowna Transmission Project and whether a location has been identified for the line which will provide backup power security for West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation and Peachland.

“We got a very good briefing on the status of the project,” Findlater was quoted. “They are starting to narrow down the options and are very close to taking some off the table. They have done a detailed wildfire risk analysis of the options and they are still saying that their best case scenario is that we’ll have a second transmission line in place by 2020.”

• West Kelowna representatives also joined representatives of RDCO, as well as Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and Peachland, to meet with B.C.’s Environment Minister Mary Polak to discuss biosolids and the difficulty with finding appropriate locations for disposal of the biosolids for this area.

“We were advised that the province is making progress with the review of the Organic Matter Recycling regulations and told us there would be an announcement in the coming months,” Findlater said.

The mayor attended the Mayors’ Caucus meeting Monday morning which featured an address from Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and advised that Premier Christy Clark spoke to the delegates Wednesday.

“We heard a few messages, first at the Mayors’ Caucus, and then from the Premier that infrastructure funding would be coming to municipalities,” Findlater said. “We heard repeatedly that water and wastewater projects would have priority and I know West Kelowna council will be discussing how to accelerate our Water Master Plan projects to take advantage of this.”

Following is the City of West Kelowna’s resolution submission to the UBCM:

WHEREAS local governments within the Province of British Columbia are responsible for essential infrastructure in areas such as water, sewer and storm sewer mains as well as roads;

AND WHEREAS these critical infrastructures, which were constructed years ago using a dollar which had a greater purchasing power, are subject to provincial health and safety regulations which require local governments to upgrade or replace the infrastructure despite limited funds and grant opportunities:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of BC Municipalities lobby the Ministry of Finance to provide a provincial sales tax exemption on the upgrade or replacement of local government infrastructure projects.

Just Posted

Blasting set to start in West Kelowna’s Tallus Ridge neighbourhood

Blasting being done to prepare for 10th and 11th phases of development

Mill Creek is open once again

The Kelowna park has been closed due to flooding in 2017

911 jams causes panic among residents

RDOS chair received several calls and texts from panicked residents unable to get through to 911

Missing West Kelowna Man’s body found

The 52-year old was found near Shannon Lake

Outdoor irrigation banned in Falcon Ridge east of Kelowna

Central Okanagan Regional District says two reservoirs need to be refilled

Neighbours jump into action after grass fire ignites 10 feet from Kelowna home

Multiple fire halls responded to a grass fire on the 800 block of Mount Royal Drive.

Vernon guard joins Heat for 2018-19 season

Two-time Vernon Panthers MVP Leon Schenker is among UBCO basketball’s new recruits

Summerland wildfire grows to 50 hectares

More than 40 firefighters are on scene of the wildfire near Mount Conkle, just outside of Summerland.

14-year-old pilot attempts to break Guinness World Record at B.C. airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab wants to become youngest pilot with fewest hours logged to fly solo

Non-wildfire related calls line plague dispatchers, block line

The logjam of callers Tuesday night resulted in long wait times for people legitimately calling about new fire activity.

Price no guarantee for safety with horse riding helmets: new report

A Swedish insurance report reveals that many brands of equestrian helmets do not protect riders as well as they could.

South Okanagan firefighters save veteran’s house

33 members, with the help of B.C. Wildfire, protect Second World War veterans home from fire

One year later: Still no suspects in killing of 13-year-old B.C. girl

Marrisa Shen was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park on July 18, 2017

Pike Mountain fire still out of control but did not grow overnight

Twenty-two new blazes reported in Kamloops Fire Centre Tuesday

Most Read