OVSRA achieves a rate hikes post­pone­ment


HER­MANUS – Dear On­rus and Ver­mont ratepay­ers/prop­erty own­ers, as you may have seen in the mu­nic­i­pal re­lease, the On­rus Ver­mont Spe­cial Rat­ings Area (OVSRA) steer­ing com­mit­tee re­quested to post­pone the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ad­di­tional rate to 1 July 2021. This re­quest was ap­proved by coun­cil on 29 July 2020.

The rea­sons for this re­quest from our side are as fol­lows: due to Covid-19 Reg­u­la­tions we can­not at this stage, nor could we for the past four months, hold a pub­lic meet­ing for the com­mu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in and elect the board of the new non-profit com­pany (NPC) re­quired to man­age the SRA. This needs to hap­pen within six months of the cre­ation of the non-profit, ac­cord­ing to the by-law. We could also not regis­ter the NPC, as the de­part­ments’ sys­tems were down for a great part of lock­down, and it be­came op­er­a­tional only re­cently. Many of the ar­range­ments re­gard­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the SRA have been ham­pered/re­stricted by the var­i­ous lev­els of lock­down we have ex­pe­ri­enced through­out these try­ing times. For ex­am­ple, we could not fi­nalise the Fi­nan­cial Agree­ment and Me­moran­dum of In­cor­po­ra­tion with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity due to the chal­lenges of hold­ing meet­ings at this time.

Ow­ing to the cur­rent si­t­u­a­tion with the pan­demic many peo­ple may also cur­rently be un­der se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial strain. We have to keep in mind many pen­sion­ers and re­tired peo­ple rely on their in­vest­ments for an in­come, and these are cur­rently se­verely im­pacted. The SRA could there­fore be an­other fi­nan­cial strain to many com­mu­nity mem­bers at this stage.

We there­fore felt the re­spon­si­ble de­ci­sion was to post­pone the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the OVSRA levy for a year. We trust the com­mu­nity un­der­stands our dif­fi­culty in mak­ing this de­ci­sion and the dis­ap­point­ment of see­ing our com­mit­ted ef­forts to get­ting the vote through in time for 2020 im­ple­men­ta­tion dashed. No­body has re­mained un­touched by this un­prece­dented si­t­u­a­tion, in­clud­ing our en­tire com­mu­nity. We are cur­rently fi­nal­is­ing dis­cus­sions with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­gard­ing agree­ments that need to be put in place and the pro­cesses we need to fol­low to get the NPC up and run­ning and en­sure the im­ple­men­ta­tion for 2021.

We will keep you in­formed re­gard­ing progress made in due time. Thank you to ev­ery­one who worked so hard with us to get the votes in place, and we look for­ward to set­ting things up in the com­ing months so we are pre­pared and ready for im­ple­men­ta­tion in 2021.

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