Okanagan Falls, B.C. incorporation study officially underway – Okanagan | Globalnews.ca


Okanagan Falls is the largest unincorporated community in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), but the community is in on track to possibly becoming its own municipality.

The Okanagan Falls Incorporation Study officially began earlier this month.

“For some time now, Okanagan Falls, because it is a fairly compact community with different servicing needs, and in fact, many people as they drive through Okanagan falls assume that it’s a municipality to combat community for some time,” said Allan Neilson of Neilson Strategies, who leads the consulting team hired by RDOS.

“The answer to the question what would it mean to Okanagan falls to incorporate? That is really the essence of this study. So, we’re looking to answer that question through a technical analysis followed by engagement with the community.

“And then ultimately, if the community decides that it wishes to have a vote on a corporation, then having that vote.”

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Click to play video: 'Boundaries set for Ok Falls incorporation study'

Boundaries set for Ok Falls incorporation study

An Incorporation Study Committee has been formed and held its first meeting back in September. Community members Rick Wilson and Kea Adachi were elected chair and vice-chair, respectively.

“At this time, there are two key things the study committee would like to emphasize to the community,” said chair Rick Wilson in a statement.

“First, all Incorporation Study information will be posted online at https://rdosregionalconnections.ca as soon as it becomes available. Second, the Incorporation Study will take place over nearly a year-and-a-half, with the bulk of information becoming available in the spring of 2024. The Study Committee understands the community has many questions, and your patience is appreciated as we work to get the answers.”

Click to play video: 'Group hopes to breathe new life into Okanagan Falls'

Group hopes to breathe new life into Okanagan Falls

The team is now looking to determine first the implications of incorporation for the community.

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Following the analysis, the committee will share the findings with the town through community events to allow Okanagan Falls residents to ask questions.

“For the next six months we will be conducting and completing the technical analysis, which gives us the answers as to what it’s going to mean in terms of people’s taxes, what (it’s) going to mean and the changes to the governance system and what it’s going to mean to the services that are provided and who provides those,” said Neilson.

“At that point we will be undertaking at least three or four months of a very intensive and extensive community engagement program which will look at all of these different issues and engage with folks at town halls through question-and-answer periods through all those kinds of things.”

The entire study is expected to be completed by early spring of 2025.

Click to play video: 'Full-service grocery store opens in Okanagan Falls'

Full-service grocery store opens in Okanagan Falls

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