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City of Merritt chasing less residents for their property taxes this year.
Director of Finance Sheila Thiessen says more residents paid before the July 4th deadline this year compared to 2017. 
"We have an 86% collection rate, compared to 83% last year. To make things easier we added a number of banks that we could receive online payments this year, so people were able to pay from different banks than in the past. So, we have about 125 less accounts outstanding."
Although many residents have seen their property tax rate rise this year, Thiessen says the increase is based on their property assessments, as the City of Merritt voted in favour of a 0% increase during budget deliberations.
All in, the City of Merritt will collect close to $3.8-million in residential property taxes in 2018.
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Merritt Youth and Family Resource Society filing development variance for new home.

Executive director Lenora Fletcher confirms a development variance for the new building they are a planning at 1914 Quilchena Ave has been filed with the City of Merritt and will go for first reading at the July 24th regular meeting of Council.

The current design has seven parking spaces, instead of the 13 needed according to the city's bylaws.

"I'm of the belief it will pass. And, they are already beginning the process for setting up the setting up the modular. so, that way when the lot is ready, the modular will be brought in and set up in one day most likely."

The Merritt Youth and Family Resource Society has received over $500,000 in provincial grants to help construct their new home.

Delayed more than a year due to issues with the design, Fletcher is hopeful their it can be ready in September.


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Pike Mountain wildfire doubling in size.
Kamloops Fire Centre information officer Marla Catherill says the fire first reported between Merritt and Princeton Monday afternoon is now measured at 16 hectares.
Yesterday's growth came despite the BC Wildfire Service having a large presence at the scene.
"We have 47 firefighters, an air tanker, and three helicopters on scene actioning the blaze."
The fire, which is burning in a remote area and not threatening any structures, is believed to be human caused.
It's the only current wildfire burning in the Merritt Fire Zone.
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No growth reported overnight on the wildfire burning at Pike Mountain.

Kamloops Fire Centre information officer Marla Catherill says the fire that sparked yesterday afternoon between Merritt and Princeton continues to be measured at seven hectares.

BC Wildfire Service crews remain on scene today, with 46 firefighters, an air tanker and multiple helicopters on scene actioning the fire.

"Fire origin and cause officers are on scene investigating today as well. It's believed to be human caused, but they are looking to confirm that."

This is the 26th wildfire recorded in the Merritt Fire Zone since April 1st.

The Fire Danger Rating in the area remains at EXTREME.


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Interior Health warning of the dangers, as scorching temperatures are expected again today in the Nicola Valley.
A Heat Warning remains in effect for the area, with a high of 36 degrees forecasted for Merritt today.
Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr Sue Pollock says when it gets this hot, illness can occur as your body can gain heat faster than it can cool itself down.
"There are four main groups at risk of heat related illness. The first are infants and young children. That's because they rely on adults to make their environments cooler and more comfortable. The second group is the elderly individuals who may not be able to compensate for heat stress efficiently, or as well as people. The third group are healthy individuals who do a lot of work outdoors or are being quite physical in a hot environment. And, the fourth group are those with chronic diseases, including those with heart problems and difficulty breathing."
Pollack says the main goal is to try and stay cool, which can be achieved by staying indoors or in the shade, drinking plenty of fluids, and planning outdoor activities during the cooler times of the day.


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