GAI void not being filled next year

At the Town Council meeting on Nov. 5, it was decided that funding for economic development would be ceased indefinitely.

At the Town Council meeting on Nov. 5, it was decided that  funding for economic development would be ceased indefinitely.

The resolution to cease funding for Golden Area Initiatives (GAI) follows a recent letter received from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District confirming the position of Area ‘A’ Director Habart’s unwillingness to partner with the Town of Golden for the delivery of such services under a municipal “in-house” model.

The Town estimates that without the assistance of the regional district, or access to the Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF) account, meaningfully funding an in-house position and operating budget would at least be in the range of $150,000 annually.

The EOF is a portion of BC Hydro’s annual payment in lieu of taxes to the district.

For the past 10 years, GAI has been funded by a partnership between the two local governments to provide economic development services.  Each has contributed approximately $85,000 per year from general taxation with another $100,000 sourced from the EOF.

“Council did not enjoy having to make this decision” said Mayor Christina Benty, “but we feel without meaningful financial partnership from the regional district it is simply too burdensome for Golden tax payers to shoulder 100 per cent of what we feel is still a regional serving function.”

The Town gave notice in May 2012 of its intent to withdraw from the GAI funding agreement which now terminates on Dec. 31, 2013.  For the first six months of this year a select committee of council including local volunteers researched, consulted, and deliberated what the future of economic service delivery could look like for the community.  In July its recommendation to Council was a return to a municipally staffed function, with regional focus and representation, which is no longer possible without the financial partnership with the CSRD.

“This is a huge step backward, to before the mid-nineties for Golden”, said Coun. Caleb Moss, and former chair of the committee. “While neither government was happy with the current model, we did expect continued regional cost sharing and support in a delivery alternative.  We simply do not have staffing capacity, or the specialized skill base to give economic development the dedicated focus needed to entice investment to our area.”

An even greater setback said Moss is that “even with our proposal to fund the entire function using EOF – with no tax payer burden – the answer was no.  There will now be no functioning body to focus on supporting and helping the development of our collective business community.  The “do nothing” option of the regional district is a “lose-lose” proposition at best and really puts us at a competitive disadvantage in relationship to our progressive regional neighbors.”

With an absolute future for GAI uncertain, Council and staff are working with its board and membership to determine its options beyond this calendar year. Options that will need to be determined will include the funding of Kicking Horse Culture after 2014.

During the same meeting, council voted to apply to the CSRD to use EOF money for KHC for 2014 (as both parties need to approve the use of the funds).

This means Kicking Horse Culture’s funding is secure for one more year, and will have to be looked at again next year for 2015.

Just Posted

Your weekly news recap

The Golden Star’s weekly 60-second news recap… Continue reading

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, set to reopen at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Golden Rockets win one on the road

The Golden Rockets faced off against the Creston Valley Thundercats on the… Continue reading

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Most Read