RDCK won’t revisit White Building payment

The Regional District of Central Kootenay will not reconsider its decision to reimburse Nelson $18,000 for its White Building proposal.

Rural Castlegar director Gord Zaitsoff wanted to revisit the RDCK's reimbursement of the City of Nelson's costs in producing the White Building proposal

The Regional District of Central Kootenay will not reconsider its decision to reimburse the City of Nelson $18,000 for its proposal to share space in the White Building.

Rural Castlegar regional director Gord Zaitsoff, who wasn’t at the meeting where the original motion was adopted in February, tried last week to bring it back for reconsideration. However, he was told it was too late because the cheque has already been deposited.

Afterward, Zaitsoff said he thought the payout sent a bad message.

“Are we saying we’re prepared to reimburse anyone who prepares a proposal for any sort of contract with the regional district? That’s my concern.”

While the regional district passed a motion last fall asking the city to produce a fleshed-out proposal, Zaitsoff insisted the city wanted to provide it. He also suggested the city would ultimately benefit from the work that went into it, even though the regional district overwhelmingly rejected it.

“It’s a work plan or model which has value to them, whether it’s the regional district or whomever else that might be interested in moving into their building,” he said. “It can be used down the road and I don’t see why we have to pay for that.”

Although the reimbursement motion called for a payment of up to $20,000, the city actually billed for less. It said, however, the true cost of preparing the proposal including staff time was actually over $27,000.

RDCK chair John Kettle previously told the Star he thought the payment was fair: “There was no harm, no foul. We never wanted Nelson to suffer.”

The payment was approved during a closed-door session with “three or four” directors opposed, Kettle said, although their names were not recorded in the minutes.

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