The Town of Osoyoos is looking to drop its water councillor positions after one of its councillors acclaimed last November was disqualified from office after missing four regularly scheduled meetings.

The Town is required to hold a bi-election to fill the remainder of a three-year term vacated by Kuldeep Dhaliwal but staff is suggesting the Town approach the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and request it create a service area for local water district users.

The Town would bill for water in the rural water district area and users in that area would have representation through the Area “A” Director.

The issue was compounded by the outdated administration of the position, which was created in 1989 and “is outdated in every way, including reference to the Municipal Act where we are now governed by the Community Charter and Local Government Act, and the election section is no longer in compliance with the Local Government Act,” Council was told.

The change did not sit well with the remaining water director, Claude Moreira.

“I can’t support actually any of these here,” he said of five options proposed to Council, four of which would eliminate the election of water councillor positions.

“The water areas want representation.”

He voted against the move, the lone councillor in opposition to the change.

Funding request for pool feasibility study renewed

South Okanagan communities will go looking again for provincial funding to conduct a feasibility study in hopes of restarting a shared indoor aquatic centre project.

Osoyoos Council Tuesday voted to send a letter of support to accompany a $100,000 Town of Oliver BC Rural Dividend Fund grant application to assist with funding the pool feasibility study.

The funding request would be the second made by the the two communities — partnered with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and Osoyoos Indian Band — to access the funding.

A December 2017 funding request was turned down.

Osoyoos wines opening provincial doors?

Mayor Sue McKortoff said at least one provincial minister has requested a meeting with a Town representative at next fall’s Union of BC Municipalities gathering, citing delivery of a bottle of local wine or cider as incentive.

“We are quite well known . . . for when we go to ministerial meetings of taking either a bottle of local wine or cider,” she told her Council as it discussed potential UBCM meetings with provincial ministers.

“The minister of finance did approach me last week and said that she heard that we bring good wine and she wondered if we could set up a meeting with her.”

The bottles, the mayor added, are a gift and appear to be appreciated by the provincial ministers.

Town staff are suggesting Council request meetings with ministers responsible for:

  • Municipal Affairs — to discuss the impacts and future of water councilors in local utility governance and potential funding for a district municipality study;
  • Health — to discuss the availability of mental health sen/ices and South Okanagan General emergency operations
  • Solicitor General and Public Safety — to discuss additional funding for victim services and revolving door of repeat offenders causing petty crimes
  • Transportation — to discuss additional funding for transit to enable connectivity
  • Forestry, Lands and natural Resources — to discuss regulations relating to milfoil harvest in Okanagan Valley and specifically Osoyoos Lake.

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