Arrow Lakes regional director Paul Peterson supported changing the way each area receives Columbia Basin Trust funding — even though it meant a net loss for him.

Arrow Lakes regional director Paul Peterson supported changing the way each area receives Columbia Basin Trust funding — even though it meant a net loss for him.

Nelson loses out in Trust funding

A change in the way the Regional District of Central Kootenay apportions Columbia Basin Trust community funding will mean more money for some places and less for others, including Nelson and Castlegar.

A change in the way the Regional District of Central Kootenay apportions Columbia Basin Trust community funding will mean more money for some places and less for others, including Nelson and Castlegar.

In a narrow vote Thursday, directors approved a motion to dole out money beginning in 2012 based solely on population instead of a formula combining population and assessment.

“I don’t know why we started doing it years ago the way we did, but I just feel it’s more about people than the value of their homes,” says Arrow Lakes director Paul Peterson, who introduced the motion, despite the fact his area actually stands to lose money.

“I love to keep within the spirit of what the Trust is about.”

Peterson says they were the only regional district using the population plus assessment formula. Although they will still receive the same amount of money overall, the pie will be divided a little differently beginning next year.

Nelson’s piece will drop by $6,400 — from about $133,000 to $126,000 — while Castlegar stands to lose over $8,000 — from $107,000 to $99,000. The biggest winner will be Creston, both the town and rural area, which will each receive over $8,500 more.

In all, funding will increase for six areas, decrease for seven, and remain unchanged for seven others at the lowest end of the funding scale.

Nelson mayor John Dooley and Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff argued that as the largest municipalities and regional hubs, they have more demands on them, and receive the lion’s share of requests for funding from community groups.

“We tend to have most of the requests because a lot of groups servicing the region are working out of Nelson,” Dooley says.

Chernoff added even with the present sum of money to work with, it’s “difficult and time-consuming” to evaluate funding requests, which last year totaled over $400,000. They were only able to satisfy a quarter of that amount.

Nakusp mayor Karen Hamling, however, responded that the cities are able to draw from a much larger tax base to provide their services.

“If your cities continue to grow, you get more money,” she said. “We may grow a bit, but can never provide the same level of services.”

The motion passed with 11 directors in favour.

A breakdown of how the new Columbia Basin Trust funding formula will affect each municipality and rural area

  • Area                    2011        2012        Change
  • A (Wynndel/East Shore)        38,439        30,000        -8,439
  • B (Rural Creston)            55,638        64,179        +8,541
  • C (Rural Creston)            30,000        30,000        Nil
  • D (Rural Kaslo)            22,579        20,828        -1,751
  • E (Rural Nelson)            54,161        50,753        -3,408
  • F (Rural Nelson)            52,742        50,944        -1,798
  • G (Rural Salmo)            30,000        30,000        Nil
  • H (Slocan Valley)            53,224        58,989        +5,765
  • I (Rural Castlegar)            30,000        32,984        +2,984
  • J (Lower Arrow/Columbia)        35,662        38,133        +2,471
  • K (Arrow Lakes)            25,251        24,584        -667
  • Castlegar                107,328    99,143        -8,185
  • Creston                57,404        65,913        +8,509
  • Kaslo                    30,000        30,000        Nil
  • Nakusp                18,401        20,815        +2,414
  • Nelson                    132,882    126,445    -6,437
  • New Denver                30,000        30,000        Nil
  • Salmo                    30,000        30,000        Nil
  • Slocan                    30,000        30,000        Nil
  • Silverton                30,000        30,000        Nil