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Council reviews 2020 Operating Budget and 5 Year Capital/Project Plan

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Council reviews 2020 Operating Budget and 5 Year Capital/Project Plan

For Immediate Release
January 31, 2020
Osoyoos, BC

Printable Version

Town Council and senior staff met for several hours on January 29, 2020 to review the 2020 Operating Budget and 5 Year Capital/Project Plan. Council had previously met on December 11, 2019 and reviewed and approved the 2020-2024 water and sewer operating and capital budgets and approved user rates for those services for 2020.
The approved water rates for 2020 see residential water fees in Town increase by 2% and in Rural Water Districts 8 and 9 by 1.71%. Water rates for other uses/users were increased by the same percentage amounts. For 2020 sewer user fees are increased by 3.99%. For in Town single family homes these increases amount to $7.19 for water and $10.22 for sewer per year.
After reviewing and deliberating the 2020 Operating Budget and 5 Year Capital / Project Plan, Town Council approved a draft operating budget and 5 year capital project plan that includes a municipal tax increase of 2.98%. The next step in the budget process is for Council to provide the opportunity for public input / comment respecting the draft financial plan. A meeting will be scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Town Hall for Council to receive that feedback. Notice of the meeting will be posted on the Town website and advertised in the Osoyoos Times. Questions and feedback respecting the financial plan can be given in person at the meeting or by written submission (
Taken together, on the average single family home with an assessed value of $445,811, the combined property tax and utility rate increases result in a total increase in amounts paid to the Town of $88.46 per year ($7.37/month). A table following this media release sets out the comparative total Town charges on the average single family home between 2019 and 2020.
A large part of Council deliberations over the financial plan concerned the budget for the Osoyoos Fire Department. Administration brought forward a budget package that would move forward the Fire Department in a very tangible way to address the issues and recommendations made in the January 2019 Fire Department Master Plan

The Master Plan identified a number of significant facts and concerns regarding the fire service including the following:

  • Compared to other fire services in communities of similar size across BC, the Osoyoos Fire Department is underfunded.
  • The fire department has fallen short in meeting the growing regulatory requirements for delivering fire services.
  • Most of the Master Plan recommendations are essential and non-discretionary. Some will require 3 to 5 years to achieve full compliance.

In addition to a comprehensive re-investment and renewal of capital equipment for the Fire Department the 2020 budget also proposes a significant investment in benefits, training and wages for our paid-on-call firefighters. Over 2020 the Department will hire 2 deputy chief positions in order to augment emergency response, follow through with training, operations and safety program enhancement, fire prevention, inspections, pre-planning and public education and ultimately implement the recommendations in the Fire Department Master Plan.
The draft 2020 operating budget includes an allowance for wage and benefits increases for hourly and salaried Town employees, a 2% increase to the RCMP budget, a $6.70 per year increase in solid waste and recycling fees, and increased budgets for a variety of municipal services including  roads and parks maintenance.
The draft 2020 capital budget includes amounts for community planning (OCP update and Zoning bylaw update), land and parkland acquisition, playgrounds, outdoor fitness and community garden improvements, trails, road and sidewalk improvements, accessibility upgrades, improvements at the Sonora Centre, Arts Centre and Desert Park, improvements and expansion of the Childcare Centre, a Town Hall space needs assessment and pre-design study, downtown enhancements, improvements at the sanitary landfill (new scale, scale house, litter fencing), occupational health and safety improvements and re-investment and renewal of Operational Services yard, fleet (e.g. new beach cleaner, street sweeper, aerial lift (bucket) truck, medium duty trucks, parks mower) and operating equipment (survey equipment, tools and storage) and preparation of a universal water metering implementation plan.  

The January 29, 2020 agenda and complete budget package are available on our website at under the ‘Council’ tab at ‘Agendas, Minutes & Videos.’


For more information contact: 

Mayor Sue McKortoff

Jim Zakall
Director of Finance/Deputy CAO

Comparative total charges on the average Single Family Residence with an assessment of $445,811 in 2020:

  2020 2019 Difference
Municipal Taxes* 646.39 620.26 26.13
Policing* 232.67 227.23 5.44
General Debt* 8.34 8.32 0.02
Fire Protection* 107.74 73.24 34.50
Fire Hall Debt* 43.49 45.23 -1.74
Garbage/Recycling** 140.70 134.00 6.70
Sewer** 266.34 256.12 10.22
Water** 366.44 359.25 7.19
Total 1,812.11 1,723.65 88.46
*             property tax charge
**            utility charge
Event date: 
Friday, 31 January, 2020
News item
Press release
While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this data, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the Town of Osoyoos.   Town of Osoyoos
Box 3010, 8707 Main Street
Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V0
(TF) 1.888.495.6515
(T) 250.495.6515
(F) 250.495.2400


Mission Statement
To provide quality community services and facilities, which meet the needs of the current
and future residents of Osoyoos, in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner.

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