Area A Report: Wells Gray Country taxes to go down

Upper Clearwater Hall surveys deadline is Friday, April 15 at noon

Carol Schaffer is TNRD director for Area A (Wells Gray Country).

Carol Schaffer is TNRD director for Area A (Wells Gray Country).

Carol Schaffer

It is that time of year that the Thompson-Nicola Regional District sets the final budget for 2016.

The Thompson Regional Hospital budget will see no tax increase on average.

The TNRD budget for Electoral Area A tax requisition for 2016 is $662,289. Based on assessments there WG countryis an average decrease of 1.23 per cent in taxes this year. The average residential house prices for 2016 are $140,459 and for 2015 were $144,199 which is a 2.59 per cent decrease. Based on the average residential assessment we will be paying a tax rate of 2.4428 per $1,000, which equates to $343.11 for the average residence.

Minister Todd Stone spoke to the TNRD board concerning the provincial budget and answered questions from the directors.

Asked about road improvements for the North Thompson, he stated that there will be passing lanes at Vinsulla and at Darfield. A total of $63 million has been spent on upgrades in the North Thompson over the last three or four years.


No more train whistle, please

Birch Island residents have approached the regional district with a petition to have the train whistle cease.

Before this can happen there is a process we have to go through. First, we have to have a study done on the train crossing which would cost approximately $8,000. It could take a minimum of three to four years for the cessation of the whistle.

There could be additional costs if the study recommends fencing, etc. The costs would be onetime only.

There are four ways that the costs can be covered: 1) specified area, 2) the whole of Area A, 3) discretionary funds, and 4) economic development funds.

When we have the yearly community meeting in Birch Island in May there will be a TNRD staff member there to answer questions and explain the full process.


Upper Clearwater survey deadline on Friday

Just a reminder that the survey about the Upper Clearwater Hall will come to a close on April 15 at noon. I would like to thank everyone who completed the survey and encourage those who haven’t to complete the survey and return to the address provided.


Improvements to railway crossing

The ditch that is open on the upper side of the CNR tracks in Vavenby is to have a culvert added to it and will be completely fixed by the end of April.

I have spoken to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure concerning the CNR crossing in Vavenby and have been told that MOTI will have internally meetings with CNR in April. There will be a group discussion in May to see what can be done to correct the crossing.