Pemberton Valley residents will go to the polls Saturday, Oct. 18 to vote on bylaws affecting the Pemberton Public Library and the Pemberton Community Centre.
The community centre, which has been operating in the old high school building, will be forced to close at the end of the year if operating funds proposed in Saturday’s tax referendum are not approved. A yes vote in the referendum would provide for requisitioning of up to $75,000 annually, or 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, whichever is the greater.
There has been no specific tax collected for community centre operations for several years.
The community centre provides space and services for more than 40 community groups, as well as the Pemberton Day Care and Youth Centre. An evening schedule of programs is also offered.
The tremendous growth of Pemberton has put increased demands on the community centre and the library. A yes vote in the library referendum would provide for the requisitioning annually of $59,000, or 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, whichever is the greater.
A yes vote for the library requisition would mean a tax increase from $30.20 to $40.09 on a residential property assessed at $200,000.
Library funding for operations has been frozen at $29,000 per year since 1991, although library use has doubled in recent years. The library is currently open four days per week, for a total of 22 hours. There is increasing demand for the library to extend its hours, but without the tax increase the library will have to lower its current level of service.
A yes vote on the library referendum question would tie library funding to the increase in the tax base and in property values, which the library association says will eliminate the need for future referendums.
Voting takes place at the SLRD/Village office between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. All Area C and village residents are eligible to vote.