Salmon Arm  

New municipality pondered

The Shuswap could soon have a new municipality.

Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors have unanimously supported a request to the province to fund a study examining the potential creation of a new municipality that would include Blind Bay and Sorrento.

The motion also informs the Ministry of Municipal Affairs that if incorporation is not deemed feasible, the board would then support the division of Electoral Area C into two separate electoral areas.

Area C director Paul Demenok called the incorporation study a major milestone.

"The results of this study will provide South Shuswap residents with the information they will need to make a fully informed decision about our future governance structure,” he said.

Several scenarios were considered, including the creation of standalone Sorrento and Blind Bay municipalities, a combined municipality, or the creation of two electoral areas, as well as potential boundaries for each.

Current services, population density, future development potential and more were all taken into account.

Area C is the most populous region of the CSRD, with 4,700 residents in the proposed incorporation area, based on 2016 census data. About 3,200 would be left in Area C after such a move.

“Should the incorporation question fail at either an incorporation committee or the referendum level, the default would be splitting Area C into two electoral areas. This recognizes that Area C is too large and requires greater representation at the CSRD board,” Demenok said.

A final decision on incorporation would have to get voter approval through a referendum.

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