Incorporation, again

On August 28, Angela Lagore posted a question on her Facebook page (@angelalagore) saying:

Who thinks we should incorporate the NS?

My response:

I’m in favour of incorporation of some or all of the North Shuswap.

Jeff Tarry is right that there is a private study done in 2016 that shows that the main Scotch Creek area is a viable spot for incorporation. There is the right mix of revenue producing properties (mainly waterfront and a few businesses) to expenses which include mainly roads and administration. Many of the services that we currently use such as solid waste transfer can be sub-contracted to the CSRD for now or for the long term. An incorporated Scotch Creek would grow and be prosperous and would bring more needed services to a location in the North Shuswap. The thing that makes Scotch Creek viable, good revenue to relatively small expense (very few roads) may not translate to other areas.

My concern is for the rest of the North Shuswap. Many of the other communities are likely not viable. Take Celista as an example. For revenue there are waterfront properties (relatively high taxation), though not as many as Scotch Creek, a significant number of medium taxation properties, and a good number of agricultural properties, which bring in almost no tax dollars. The type of expenses here are virtually the same, but, the length of the roads vs the revenue opportunities means that if an incorporation study was done on Celista by itself, it would likely come out as not viable. If you looked at Magna Bay, Anglemont etc on the same basis, the prospects are probably marginal.

As a potential representative of the North Shuswap at the CSRD board, I have to weigh the benefits and costs for the whole of the area, Squilax to Seymour. This doesn’t mean that I don’t favour Scotch Creek incorporation, I do, but that only directly helps 700 of our 2500 full time population. There are still 1800 people (and then add the non-residents) that would not have their relationship with the CSRD change one little bit.

So… In conjunction with the move to incorporation there must be a move to have a new type of conversation with the CSRD. We need to re-define our relationship with the powers in Salmon Arm. Al Christopherson is right in that the management of the CSRD is not accountable to our taxpayers. I’m working to find a way to change our role so that we become equal partners instead of powerless, and bring the benefits to the whole of the North Shuswap.

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