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Slocan Council, May 9: Council makes selection for CBT grants

A special council meeting on April 26 resulted in recommendations on which community projects will receive Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program grants for 2022.

“We tried to support all local community initiatives to the amount possible,” said Mayor Jessica Lunn. “We were definitely oversubscribed.”

There were some tough choices to make – the Village had $47,677 to spend, and more than $77,200 in requests.

The biggest single project supported was the Slocan Valley Outriders Association, which needed $10,000 for its $13,000 project to fence the riding grounds. They took more than 1/5 of the total funding. Mayor Lunn said the project would be a benefit to the whole community.

“They host a number of events over the year,” she added. “Either training for people with horses, or shows. So there’s a lot of local support, and the events bring people in regionally, provincially and even from the States.

“And this project, by providing the perimeter fencing, allows to house more animals if there was an emergency – like if there was a fire threatening the area, this area could be utilized.”

Many other projects were ratified:

The WE Graham Community Services Society, actually received more than the SVOA – $12,400 – but for four projects. Those include building upgrades, learning center programming and tech support, a mobile film-making and animation studio project, and coordination and communication for its Early Years program.

Other major projects getting support included the Saturday Market ($3,000), the Slocan Community Library ($3,000), rescue training and equipment for the Slocan and District Technical Rescue Society ($2,600), and the Valley View golf course ($2,000). There was also $3,300 for a compost program, and $1,000 for the Rail Trail Society.

“The majority of village projects were supported 100%, and some not completely supported, but the effort was made to service as many village-specific projects as possible,” the mayor said.

Other projects funded Bee Awareness ($650), the Nav-CARE program of the Hospice Society ($750), a ‘urodynamics project’ of the West Kootenay-Boundary Hospital and Health Foundation ($500), and $360 for the Red Cross.

These decisions are expected to be ratified by the RDCK board at its May meeting.

Cash for Ukraine

Council confirmed its support for the people of Ukraine in their ongoing defense of their country from a Russian invasion – but they had to change how they do it. Council had approved in April applying for $1,000 from the Village’s portion of the RDCK Community Development Fund to give to the effort. But staff found that the program couldn’t support the initiative, no matter how worthy. The CDF is earmarked for “initiatives that further the social, economic and/or environmental well-being of regional district residents or organizations, or to lower tax requisitions,” staff said.

Instead, council approved staff take from the town’s ‘public relations’ funds. The money has been forwarded to the local Legion to forward to the Red Cross for humanitarian aid in the country.

Slocan Lake and River Partnership

The RDCK wants to create a group to talk about protection of Slocan River and Slocan Lake. The regional government’s planning staff asked council if it would be interested in taking part in the initiative, which at this point is gathering information and opinion from stakeholders. The plan is to eventually form a partnership group to develop policy and management plans for the water courses.

The initiative was spurred by RDCK Area H Director Walter Popoff, who moved at an RDCK board meeting in April to create the partnership “with the goal of informed decision making, to ensure the area is best managed for ecological, social and cultural values.”

Council agreed to get involved with the initial discussion, which should be at a meeting held in June.

Water plant protected

Another motion had council approving of a change to the Village’s agreement with the Regional District of Central Kootenay over its fire service. The Village’s water treatment plant needed to be included in the town’s fire response agreement with the RDCK, after an oversight left the critical piece of infrastructure outside the fire department’s coverage area.

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