The topic on the agenda was fireworks.
And while council couldn’t discuss it, sparks flew inside Osoyoos City Hall Thursday night as residents angry over a ma*sive property tax hike disrupted the meeting .
According to the city, the 39 percent tax hike is necessary to upgrade failing water and sewer infrastructure.
However, residents feel they had little or no say in the council’s decision.
Osoyoos resident Ron Sargeant told PKBNEWS that “not many people are happy with the tax increase.”
And on Thursday, dozens of residents stormed the council chambers, even though the tax increase – pa*sed several weeks ago – was not on Thursday’s agenda.
The most important item on the agenda was getting a decision from council to adjust insurance rates so the city can hold fireworks on December 1st. But that didn’t happen, as chaos interrupted the meeting before it had a chance to begin. The city council, including the mayor, left, further fueling the fire.
The city’s administrative director admits that the increase in public services is high, but says the city has requested infrastructure improvements.
In fashion now
“I think people in the community are very aware of the issues with water quality and quantity,” Rod Risling said. “This budget, which council deliberated on, did exactly what the community was asking for, which was to ensure that people could consume enough, safe water.
Although residents agree that utility improvements are needed, they are calling for less urgent projects to be scrapped in order to reduce the tax hike.
Residents say they will hold a town hall meeting next week, Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. at Elks Lodge, and have invited council and staff to attend.
“I gave the city councilors, the mayor, the CFO and the city manager all the letters inviting them to our meeting,” Sargeant said. “I hope they show up.”
© 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.