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Referendum planned in CSRD for Shuswap Watershed Council funding

Open to eligible voters in electoral areas C, D, E, F and G, as well as Sicamous
The Shuswap Watershed Council describes itself as a “collaborative, non-regulatory group that focuses on strategic initiatives to protect, maintain and enhance water quality and to promote safe recreation in the Shuswap. (Shuswap Watershed Council image)

Residents of electoral areas and of the District of Sicamous will be deciding the fate of the group tasked with protecting water quality in the Shuswap since 2014.

In August, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) will be holding a referendum for eligible voters in the Electoral Areas C, D, E, F and G, as well as Sicamous, to determine whether to continue funding the services of the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC). (Only these areas, and the district, would be making a financial contribution to the service.)

A July 19 CSRD media release explains taxpayers have already been contributing to this service; however, the SWC’s term expires as of Dec. 31, 2023.

“For the current year, taxpayers paid $9.02 per taxable parcel of land towards the service,” reads the CSRD media release.

The CSRD Board has not yet determined if the collection of taxes for this service would be by way of parcel taxes or ad valorem taxes (property value of land and improvements), explained the CSRD. If a parcel tax bylaw is adopted for the collection of taxes, the amount per property is estimated to be $9.55 per year.

If taxes are collected by property value (ad valorem), the estimated amount per residential property would be $1.76 per $100,000 of assessed value, or approximately $9.74 per average residential property valued at $553,427.

Read more: Regional district opts for referendum on funding for Shuswap Watershed Council

Read more: Concerns arise over question to continue Shuswap Watershed Council

CSRD directors voted unanimously in favour of going to a full assent vote/referendum at the May 18 CSRD board meeting. Board chair and City of Salmon Arm Coun. Kevin Flynn explained when the SWC was first set up, city council made the decision to pay into the service, about $9 per parcel. Salmon Arm director and city councillor, Tim Lavery, suggested council was aware a timely decision would be needed from council on funding the SWC.

Voters will be able to cast ballots by mail, at advance polls on Wednesday, Aug. 16, on Monday, Aug. 21, or on General Voting Day set for Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. Polling stations will be located throughout the region. Eligible voters may cast a ballot at any of the available locations.

More information and a full list of polling stations is available at the Shuswap Watershed Council Referendum 2023 page of the CSRD website,

For more information about the activities of the Shuswap Watershed Council, see their website at
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