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Kelowna  

Lake Country leads growth

Everybody wants to live in Lake Country.

The Central Okanagan community is the fastest growing of any community within the Okanagan.

Census figures released Wednesday morning show the population in Lake Country sits at 12,922, an increase of 10.4 per cent over the 2011 census.

It's the second straight time Lake Country has led the Okanagan in growth. In 2011, the bedroom community to both Kelowna and Vernon had a population jump of 21.9 per cent.

Mayor James Baker says it's good news for his community.

"We do a lot of things with grants from other governments on a per capita basis. So, the more people we have here, the more money we get," said Baker.

"But, of course we have to provide more services. It also increases our assessment base because we have more assets."

As more people build and move to the community, Baker says Lake Country is able to do more with a one per cent tax requisition.

When the community was formed more than 20 years ago, a one per cent tax requisition equalled $19,000. Today, it's over $120,000.

Baker doesn't see the population trend ending any time soon.

"People seem to be discovering the Okanagan as a good place to live, and our location, I think, between two larger centres is desirable.

"People like the rural atmosphere, but are only 20 minutes to work if they are commuting. Soon, they'll be able to cycle to work in both directions once we have the rail trail completed."

Kelowna showed an 8.6 per cent growth while Armstrong and Lumby both grew by 5.9 per cent.

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