At a closed council meeting on April 7, The Town of Oliver approved changes that will give residents financial relief in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Town of Oliver Facebook)

COVID-19: Town of Oliver gives residents tax breaks, 50 per cent off first quarter utility fees

Mayor encourages residents to invest money back into the community if possible

The Town of Oliver is making moves to provide residents with some financial relief in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an April 7 closed meeting, Oliver Town Council directed Town Staff to bring forward changes to the 2020 property tax budget and utility rates to support taxpayers and citizens facing financial hardship.

READ MORE: Stop flushing sanitary wipes: Town of Oliver

The changes include deferring the four per cent water utility increase approved for 2020 and eliminating the nine per cent property tax increase approved for 2020.

Residents can also expect their utility bills to be significantly less in first quarter of 2020.

Council has approved using funds from reserve accounts to allow for a 50 per cent reduction for the first quarter utility bill.

“The new relief measures approved yesterday are in support of those hardest hit in our local community and recognizing many will be struggling to pay bills right now. Council feels the measures announced today strike good balance between the Town of Oliver’s responsibility to not run a deficit and meet our obligations to maintain essential services,” reads a news release from Town of Oliver mayor, Martin Johansen.

Johansen encouraged residents to be responsible and invest money back into the community if they are able to.

“In these difficult and uncertain times, Council also considers these measures an investment in our community,” said Johansen. “Shopping local is a great way to support independent businesses who are the backbone of our community’s economic sustainability.”

Town Staff will also enter into an Essential Services Mutual Aid Agreement with adjacent municipalities and the RDOS during the COVID-19 pandemic, as advised by Council.

”This agreement will serve to ensure continuity of essential services related to water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure. By entering into this arrangement, any party who determines their own resources are insufficient, can request Mutual Aid from the others,” Johansen said.

Johansen concluded his news release by urging residents to stay home and to listen to the direction of Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry even as Easter long weekend approaches.

READ MORE: Town of Oliver receives award for annual financial report

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

100 miles in 24 hours: a B.C. man’s mission to support the less fortunate

Merrit’s Darius Sam felt he needed to help his community after an encounter with a starving woman

COLUMN: Diminished Parliament means diminished accountability for Canadians

Bloc Quebecois and NDP use resumption of parliament as bargaining chip

Penticton Farmers Market prepares for return

The weekly market was put on-hold for months due to COVID-19

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

Morning Start: How long can humans hold their breath underwater?

Your morning start for Thursday, May 2020.

Central Okanagan schools ready to welcome students back

Students are set to go back to school next Monday, June 1

Houseboat company partly owned by Shuswap MLA withdraws controversial ad

The ad welcomed houseboaters from other provinces, contradicting anti COVID-19 measures.

Squabble between campers in North Shuswap leads to bear spraying

An argument over late night partying escalated into a fight which led to one person being sprayed

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

COLUMN: Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery

Small towns often rely on tourism, which has been decimated by COVID-19

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

Most Read