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RDEK Approves New Intersection Lights in Area B

The RDEK has approved the expansion of the Jaffray and Area Intersection Lighting Service, allowing for the installation and ongoing maintenance of four new street lights at major intersections on Highway 3 and Highway 93.

In order to allow for the expansion, the RDEK also had to rework their method of taxation to cover the cost of the new light posts.

Stan Doehle, RDEK Director for Electoral Area B said they had to get the street light into a Strategic Plan about 5 years ago before they could proceed, identifying four major intersections that will soon be getting new streetlights.

  1. Highway 3/93 and Kikomun Road
  2. Highway 3/93 and Galloway
  3. Highway 93 and Jaffray-Baynes Lake Road
  4. Highway 93 and Grasmere-Dorr Road

“It’s a huge public safety issue,” Doehle told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “Since it’s approved at the board level here now, we’ll go out to BC Hydro, make contact to them. As soon as we can get them installed out there, we’d like them done.”

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The Jaffray and Area Intersection Lighting Service is taxed as a parcel tax with a maximum rate of $6.50 per parcel. The RDEK said that in 2019 they collected an actual tax of $4.59 per parcel and $1.27 per parcel in 2018. In order to account for the four new lights at the intersections, their ongoing maintenance, and the expansion of service to encompass all of Electoral Area B, the parcel tax was adjusted.

Summary of Actual Tax Rate Calculations with Six Lights Installed:

  • Tax Rate per $1,000 of Assessed Value
    • Maximum: $0.011
    • Expected (2020/2021): $0.0073
  • Assessed Value Calculations for Residential Properties
    • $150,000
      • Maximum: $1.65
      • Expected: $1.10
    • $335,000
      • Maximum: $3.69
      • Expected: $2.45
    • $500,000
      • Maximum: $5.50
      • Expected: $3.65

Going through public engagement before the bylaw changes were enacted, 975 copies of the notice were sent out across Electoral Area B on September 16, 2019, along with an email to the notice, and a comment form on the RDEK’s engagement website engage.rdek.bc.ca. The public was invited to submit comments until September 30, 2019, as 13 respondents were in favour while 14 were opposed.

Doehle said that once they clarified the work that would be done as part of the proposal, most were in favour of the expansion.

“Once they understood it, that we weren’t lighting the communities up, we were just doing these four major intersections and anything that comes up in the future off the highway, but we’re not lighting up communities so those concerns went away and we’re quite happy with it.”

The RDEK is budgeting for six intersection lights although only four have been formally approved, collecting an estimated $6,350 in the 2020/21 budget to cover costs, before ceasing collection once they have adequate funds for the project.

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