Planning is moving ahead for parks and recreation in Cherryville and Lumby.
Preliminary discussions have started for the 2016 budget for the White Valley Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee.
“It’s too early to tell what we will come up with,” said director Randal Ostafichuk of a possible tax increase and service levels.
Capital works will be considered, including a request to install a cement slab in Cherryville’s outdoor ice rink.
Service levels and infrastructure projects will ultimately determine what tax increase is needed.
However, chairperson Rick Fairbairn says the goal in recent years has been to keep a handle on expenses given the current economic conditions in the region.
“We’re cognizant of the fact that tax increases are not popular.”
Money has been pumped into reserves to help ease the tax burden when capital works proceed.
“We’re not at the point where we should be but we hope to continue with increases to reserves this coming year,” said Fairbairn.
In 2015, parks, recreation and culture taxes went up 9.1 per cent.
The hike was needed because of a decision years ago by Coldstream to remove Lavington from the White Valley parks service and put it into the Greater Vernon function.
The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee paid $114,000 a year to cover Lavington’s portion of existing debt load with White Valley but that agreement has concluded.
The shortfall of $114,000 was reduced to $71,000 in 2015 through contracts for maintenance and other services being frozen and provincial funds covering capital projects.