The RDCK is pursuing an initiative to have Area E residents contribute to the funding of the Nelson Public Library, and has a similar process in place with regard to Area G and the Salmo Public Library. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The RDCK is pursuing an initiative to have Area E residents contribute to the funding of the Nelson Public Library, and has a similar process in place with regard to Area G and the Salmo Public Library. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

RDCK seeks approval from Area E and G electors to fund Nelson and Salmo libraries

Ten per cent of electors must vote “no” by Sept. 5 for the initiative to fail

The Regional District of Central Kootenay will seek approval from electors in Area E on funding the Nelson Public Library through taxation, according to an RDCK news release.

The RDCK is asking the same question to a portion of electors in Area G (rural Salmo) with regard to the Salmo Public Library.

Currently, residents of Electoral Area E are required to pay a subscription fee of $90 per family or $45 per individual for a Nelson Public Library membership, the news release states. If the new bylaw is approved, residents will receive free membership like residents of the City of Nelson, Electoral Area F, and some portions of Electoral Area H.

Area E encompasses Blewett, Balfour, Queens Bay, Longbeach, Harrop/Procter, Sunshine Bay, Bealby/Horlicks, Taghum Beach, and the rural area from Nelson to Cottonwood Lake.

If the new Area E bylaw is approved, the proposed requisition amount for 2023 would be $106,138. An average residential property in Electoral Area E with an assessed value in land and improvements of $483,312 would expect to pay $35.37 for library services, according to the news release.

“The Nelson Municipal Library is a valuable resource which provides members of our community access to a wide range of services, including an extensive library catalogue, opportunities for kids and teens to learn and explore, a large number of online courses for adults, and a tech hub, featuring a recording and photography studio,” said Ramona Faust, RDCK Director of Electoral Area E.

“Currently there are 330 youth memberships which are grant-supported,” Faust said. “This new service will contribute to the overall literacy of our community and ensure sustainable funding for years to come. ”

The RDCK will seek approval for this initiative through the Alternative Approval Process (AAP).

Under Section 86 of the Community Charter, eligible electors within the service area who are opposed to the new bylaw may petition against the adoption by signing an Electoral Response Form. For the initiative to fail, at least 10 per cent of electors must petition against it before 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 5.

The AAP process will also be applied in Area G. Currently a portion of Area G contributes to the Salmo library, but this bylaw would expand this to include all of Area G. The expansion would apply to 145 new properties.

“The expanded service will give all residents of Area G the benefit of extensive library services, including access to almost all BC libraries through the BC OneCard,” said Hans Cunningham, RDCK Director of Electoral Area G. “Because the revised area includes expanded industrial rated properties that are taxed at a higher rate, the new bylaw means reduced tax rates for both the Village of Salmo and Area G homeowners.”

For more information on the Nelson initiative, including the Electoral Response Form, service area map, and more information about the process, please visit www.rdck.ca/AreaELibrary.

For more information on the Salmo initiative, including the Electoral Response Form, service area map, and more information about the process, visit www.rdck.ca/SalmoGLibrary.