Council approves deal with province to access $227K in resort municipality funding this spring

By on April 9, 2014

CouncilTown of Osoyoos council only took a couple of minutes Monday to officially sign the agreement that will continue the Resort Municipality Funding program that identifies the amount of funding that will be provided to the town as well as the projects that will be funded.

In the past, the town has received $285,000 to $300,000 annually to assist in the development of facilities that will enhance the tourism economy in Osoyoos, which is one of 14 resort municipalities eligible for this funding by the provincial government.

Projects that have been developed by this program include the town’s new marina, boat trailer parking leases, washroom development at Gyro Park and Goodman Park and the purchase and operations of a new beach cleaner.

By signing this new deal, the town can access $227,000 for the period between January 1 and March 31.

This agreement was executed without council resolution because the agreement had to be into the province before end of business on March 24 and was received on his desk only on March 20, said chief administrative officer Barry Romanko.

He had received confirmation by a majority of council to proceed with the execution of the agreement to meet strict timelines, said Romanko.

Projects identified for funding also had to have an expenditure date prior to June 30.

Projects that will be built in large part because of this funding agreement include the new Gyro Park Multi-Purpose Plaza, boat trailer leasing program, funding for the inaugural Desert Live Music Festival in late June and waterfront safety, said Romanko.

“Additional funding will be provided to the town in the second half of the year,” he said.

Contract granted to Penticton firm

The contract to extend the town’s effluent system to the playing fields at Osoyoos Secondary School has been granted to Grizzly Excavating Ltd.

Seven contractors bid for the contract that will see new effluent pumped from the town’s lagoons to the playing fields at the local high school.

Grizzly Excavating had the lowest bid of $209,000.

Construction is expected to begin later this summer once the school year is completed.

Drag races coming back to airport

Town of Osoyoos council has agreed to allow the Wine Country Racing Association to continue using the town’s airport runway for drag racing this summer and fall.

The town has provided a license to use the airport to the association for the past several years.

The WCRA has requested the use of the airport runway to hold drag racing events on five different weekends in 2014.

The first race dates will be held the weekend of May 24-25. The second race dates are set for June 7-8. The third race dates will be held on June 21-22. The fourth race dates will be held September 27-28 and the final race dates will be held October 11-12.

Chief administrative officer Barry Romanko said the town receives 33 per cent of the revenue generated from net ticket sales and participant fees, which contributes roughly $3,000 to the town.

Numerous volunteers with the race association have done a tremendous job in cleaning up damaging puncture vine at the airport and this is much appreciated, said Romanko.

The WCRA has agreed to pay for any damage that may be caused to the runway surface as a result of their race dates, but he doesn’t know of any problems that have been caused over the past several years.

Town extends BC Transit contract

Town of Osoyoos council has agreed to extend its current contract with BC Transit for another year.

The Town of Osoyoos administers the contract for transit services and the contract is up for renewal, said town chief administrative officer Barry Romanko.

The net municipal share of the transit system is $37,040, but a huge portion of these funds is recovered from Interior Health (almost $29,000) and the balance is cost shared between Osoyoos, Oliver and RDOS Areas A, C and D. The Town of Osoyoos portion is estimated at $3,200.

BC Transit provides services to all communities in the South Okanagan between Osoyoos and Kelowna.

Garbage, recycling contract extended

The Town of Osoyoos has signed a new deal with Progress Garbage Contractors, which recently purchased BFI Waste Collection, to pick up garbage and all recyclable materials for the next several years.

Council voted last fall to enter into an agreement with Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC), which necessitated the development of revising its contract with BFI Canada to incorporate the needed actions to meet MMBC standards, said Romanko.

“The negotiation was complicated by the current BFI contract financial returns linked to retaining and selling the recycled product,” he said. “In the new MMBC system, BFI doesn’t retain the recycled goods, therefore, there is an impact on their financial return.”

The new deal with Progress includes provisions to provide the ability to participate in the MMBC process, extending the current contract with the town for two years to 2018, a six-month termination clause for the town and provisions for no consumer price index increases for the next 18 months, said Romanko.

Progress has agreed to deal with the recycle revenue issues through the extension of the current contract for two extra years, he said.

They have agreed to forego any CPI on the additional two years and the amended contract provides the town with a six-month cancellation clause for the additional two years in the event there are unforeseen changes to the MMBC program, he said.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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