The Aquatic Centre Committee would like to give you some facts that will help you make an informed decision for yourselves on how to vote. It is not our intention to convince you how to vote in making a decision that will affect your life, family, neighbors or community. The decision is yours to make.
Under Law it is your right to vote as a resident who owns land or not. Under Law, non-resident land owners have the right to vote as one voice, meaning if more than one person is named on the title of land then the co-owners must assign one person to vote for them as a collective.
Under Law you must prove that you are 18 years of age or older, resident of B.C. at least six months preceding voting day; resident in the Electoral Area H or Town of Princeton for at least 30 days immediately preceding voting day (resident since August 25, 2011); and not otherwise disqualified by law to vote.
Under law you must produce two pieces of ID to be able to cast your vote. This could be a driver’s license and care card. One piece of ID must have your signature on it.
You are voting on whether local government should borrow money on your behalf to build and operate an Aquatic Centre for the area. If the referendum passes, the local government can approach federal and provincial government for additional financial support along with corporation and other funding opportunities. Local government will not start building until all funding is secure. If the referendum passes then local government has up to five years to enact the aquatic centre parcel tax.
If the referendum passes, the community will be invited to give input on the current ‘proposed’ aquatic centre before blue prints are finalized.
The parcel tax will not be assessed on bare land, only on land that has improvements on it. The intent of the tax is to tax the houses that produce people that are potential users of the facility.
Fact # 3
If the Aquatic Centre were to open its doors tomorrow, there are 3344 parcels of land that have improvements on them that would be affected by the parcel tax. In the Town of Princeton alone there are approximately 65 current parcels of land under development that are not accounted for in the equation as they can not be considered until completion. These new parcels of land will be considered in future tax years and will result in the division of the aquatic centre parcel tax amongst more parcels of land with improvements on them. This is only accounting for building going on in the Township this year and not future building in the years to come. All future parcels of land area H that are developed will also contribute to dividing the aquatic centre tax amongst even more parcels of land. The Draft Area H OCP estimates that the Electoral Area will require the construction of approximately 500-700 residential units over the next 20 years to accommodate anticipated growth in both seasonal and permanent residents. As the area continues to grow and more parcels of land are developed the aquatic centre tax will continue to be divided amongst more parcels of land.
Fact # 4
It is your right to vote or not. If you choose not to vote then your vote does not count for yes or for no. It does not count at all as you did not cast it.
The RDOS Area H Director and Town of Princeton Council have spent many hours and funding to help the Interior Health Authority recruit health care professionals to our community over the years. They have worked together to lobby, and will continue to lobby, for Medical Service Funding that is distributed from the Ministry of Health to keep our emergency doors open.
Amenities and facilities such as an aquatic centre have been identified by medical professionals as being an important tool for attraction and retention of Doctors and other medical staff.
Other essential services such as water and sewer are funded through grants and self-liquidating funds (utilities). Local governments continually research and apply for grants to assist communities with essential service.
On August 4, 2011 Director Hope requested of the RDOS Board to split the Aquatic Centre vote into two separate votes; one for the RDOS Area H and one for the Town of Princeton. This resulted in our community not having one vote but two separate votes. This also resulted in individuals who reside or own property in the Township of Princeton not having access to the mail in ballot option as the RDOS Area H individuals have. The Town of Princeton does not have a by-law that would allow for a mail in ballot.
Included in the proposed operational budget is a contingency for future upgrades to the aquatic centre. It is reasonable to plan that as the facility ages that there will be a need for upgrades and repairs. There will be money set aside and made available for these upgrades which may be needed 15-20 years from now.
The Town of Princeton and Area H have worked hard in the past to celebrate and support accomplishments for all people as one large community. Each has contributed financially and through volunteers to support community initiatives that make us one large welcoming community. Residents of all ages and all areas shared their wonderful stories and cheered when Princeton won Gamestown 2010. Princeton and Area H individuals participate together in events and programs such as Tulameen Days, Snow Golf, Timberline Cruisers, Osprey Lake Corn Festival, Missezula Lake community fundraising, trail development at China Ridge, Allison Lake, Eastgate and on the KVR, Bike Park, Rodeo, Fall Fair, Air Show, Veterans Square, renovations to the Museum, Golf Course, Schools, arena hockey, large community events (Rodeo, Racing Days, Traditional Music Festival, Fall Fair) and special events (Princeton 150 Festival), Centennial Pool, Ball Tournaments to name just a few. There is no “your community/my community” but a feeling of togetherness as we share in our unique rural lifestyle.
The benefits of an aquatic centre for our one large community are endless. Please consider them as you decide how to vote for yourself, family, neighbors and community on September 24, 2011 at Riverside Centre (148 Old Hedley Road, Princeton) or Tulameen Fire Hall (131-1 Street, Tulameen).
Everyone is invited to attend an Open House at Riverside Centre on Thursday, September 22, 2011 from 6:00-8:00p.m., to ask questions and find out the facts regarding the Aquatic Centre Referendum.
Princeton & District Aquatic Centre Referendum Committee