At $700

UPDATED: Conservation fund referendum passes in RDCK

Regional District of Central Kootenay: A referendum to create a conservation fund in three rural areas narrowly passed.

A referendum to create a conservation fund in three rural areas of the Regional District of Central Kootenay narrowly passed Saturday.

Residents of areas A (East Shore), D (Rural Kaslo) and E (Rural Nelson) collectively voted 1,128 to 1,042 in favour of the proposal, which will see residents pay a $15 parcel tax to raise $106,500 per year for various conservation projects.

The fund is expected to be administered by the Kootenay Conservation Program, similar to an arrangement in East Kootenay where $1.5 million has been given out for 44 projects since 2008.

The referendum passed at only five of 20 polling stations, failed in 12, and there were three ties, but was approved overall. The greatest support was registered in Crawford Bay, Kaslo, and Procter, while the greatest opposition was in Balfour and Wynndel. Most other polling stations were separated by only a few votes.

Area E director Ramona Faust speculated the difference in support between Balfour and Procter may have been due to Balfour having a greater number of high value homes, “and people are at their taxation limit.”

“The other possibility is that there are conservation organizations in the Harrop-Procter community that can envision the benefit of a fund such as the one proposed by the referendum,” she said.

Area A director Garry Jackman said the wide range in support suggested there may have been “inadequate information around the purpose and oversight of the fund in some of our communities.”

“This could have been linked with stronger voices putting out their own interpretations such as what impact the fund would have on the working land base with subsequent negative impacts on the forestry sector,” he said. “The fund is of course set up to deal more with private land and with issues around the lake itself.”

Area D director Andy Shadrack said he was “delighted” with the outcome, and noted his constituents stated water stewardship and ecosystem protection were among their highest value priorities in a 2008 official community plan survey. They voted 55.2 per cent in favour of the fund.

Overall voter turnout was 41 per cent.

Just Posted

Finding support at Community Connect

The 10th annual event offered free services, clothing and food on Saturday

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Meteorite fragments found near Crawford Bay

The pieces came from the fireball that exploded over Kootenay Lake in September

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Man pleads guilty to Leafs recycling depot theft

Dezmond Waggoner had been charged with theft over $5,000

Nelson Leafs stretch winning streak to six

Jack Karran scored twice in the Leafs 6-3 win over Fernie

Nelson city hall selling bear-proof garbage bins

The city has purchased 100 bins and is charging residents $205

COLUMN: Will West Kootenay forests survive?

As with most things around ecology, the answer is not simple, says columnist Greg Utzig

Julien Locke races to NST World Cup berth

Black Jack cross-country skier Julien Locke races to first place at World Cup qualifier

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Most Read