NC HandyDART Referendum slated for November 15
Portions of Electoral Area A, B, C and I affected
North Cariboo –A referendum is planned for November 15, 2014, in conjunction with the local government elections. The referendum will ask residents if they support an increase to the maximum allowable taxation under the North Cariboo HandyDART service from $15,000 to up to $70,000.
HandyDART, is a door-to-door shared-ride service. It uses specially-equipped vehicles designed to carry passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who need assistance to use public transit.
Current service levels to rural residents within portions of Electoral Areas A, B, C and I equate to approximately 1,469 service hours and 3,721 rides annually. It costs approximately $60,000 per year to maintain this level of service. Because the contribution from the Regional District has a maximum of about $15,000 the difference from the actual cost has been covered by the City of Quesnel as the local government partner with BC Transit for the service, which is no longer sustainable.
If the referendum does not pass, the contribution from the Regional District will remain at $15,000 and the service will still be available to rural residents; however, the hours of service will be reduced accordingly.
At the polls, residents will be asked the following question:
"Are you in favour of the adoption of Bylaw No. 4917, which would increase the maximum annual taxation for a contribution toward the cost of HandyDART transit services in rural areas to the greater of $70,000 or an amount raised by applying a tax rate of $0.07233/$1,000 to the net taxable value of land and improvements in the service area? (Based on 2014 assessed values, this translates to a maximum residential rate of $7.03/$100,000 to the net taxable assessed value of improvements.)"
If successful, the referendum will allow for a new requisition limit of $70,000 which accounts for inflationary factors of at least three per cent for the next five years.
Further information about the referendum is available by contacting the CRD’s Chief Election Officer at 1-800-665-1636, or visiting the CRD online at cariboord.ca.