Construction is now complete at the South Skaha Place project that will provide 26 units of affordable housing for independent seniors in Okanagan Falls. (Submitted photo)

Construction is now complete at the South Skaha Place project that will provide 26 units of affordable housing for independent seniors in Okanagan Falls. (Submitted photo)

Okanagan Falls incorporation concept under consideration

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will form committee and study incorporating community

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs is providing the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen with $80,000 to undertake an analysis of communities within Electoral Area D.

The analysis will examine services and opinions on incorporation as well as discussions on potential boundary configuration options.

Electoral Area D is one of nine electoral areas within the regional district. It includes Skaha East and Okanagan Falls.

Residents of Okanagan Falls have asked for a study examining the costs and benefits of incorporating their community. The community, south of Penticton, recorded a population of 2,230, according to the 2016 Canadian census.

In addition to the study, the regional district will create a committee and is inviting expressions of interest from qualified applicants.

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The Electoral Area D Service and Boundary Configuration Committee is an advisory ad hoc committee of the regional district. The committee, working with staff and a local government consultant, will ensure that the study and engagement with the community is neutral and balanced.

At the end of this study process, the committee will provide recommendations to the regional district board based on study findings, which may inform a potential request to proceed with an incorporation study after the next general election.

“The committee will serve as an objective, fact-finding body that functions as a neutral and credible conduit for information to the community,” said Ron Obirek, director for Electoral Area D.

This study will describe and educate on facets of governance and services in Electoral Area D, engage the public to identify the issues that are of greatest concern and identify options, within the regional district framework, for addressing the most pressing interests of the communities.

“The study will provide an opportunity for Electoral Area D residents to understand their service needs and potential boundaries should they opt to incorporate,” said Karla Kozakevich, chair of the regional district.

For more information about the study, how to apply as a committee member and for updates about the process and future public engagement opportunities, please visit www.rdosregionalconnections.ca/area-d-boundary-study.

This is not the first time the boundaries of Electoral Area D have been examined. In 2018, Electoral Area I was severed from Electoral Area D.

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Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District