Cash could come for Nelson Library if approval process lands in favour

·3 min read

Over $100,000 of new money could be flowing into the Nelson Public Library in the next two months.

The voting residents of Regional District of Central Kootenay Area E will have their say over drawing the entirety of electoral Area E into the Nelson Public Library service, delivering access that sustains both sides.

RDCK staff have been instructed to obtain approval of electors within Area E to establish the Electoral Area E Library Financial Contribution Service Bylaw.

Support for the bylaw — that would allow Area E to help fund the Nelson Public Library to the tune of $106,138 in 2023 — will be will gauged by means of alternative approval process, noted RDCK research analyst Tom Dool.

The RDCK board obtains approval if fewer than 10 per cent of eligible electors in the area covered by the AAP submit elector response forms in opposition of the particular matter. The elector response form must be received before 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 5.

“If approved, all residents within Electoral Area E will receive a free library membership rather than having to purchase it,” Dool explained.

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.

The consultation to engage the community of electoral Area E — which was made possible once the RDCK board of directors passed the first three readings of the bylaw to establish the service — will ensure people understand the costs and benefits associated with the service.

Currently, electoral Area F and a defined portion of electoral Area H have established services for the purpose of providing a financial contribution to the Nelson Public Library. Both services levy taxation for the service based on the assessed value of land and improvements within the service area.

Maximum contribution levels have been set, with electoral Area F having a maximum annual allowable contribution of $101,250, while the defined portion of electoral Area H has a maximum annual allowable contribution of $72,500.

Those amounts were determined using a population-based formula at the time of service establishment in 2010. Since that time, contributions have increased by two per cent annually while population has not.

It was estimated that around 37 per cent of Area E residents would likely hold library membership if it was funded through taxation (based on 42 per cent in Area F and 29 per cent in defined Area H).

Based on current assessment amounts and a proposed 2023 contribution of $106,138, the owner of a $500,000 home would anticipate paying $38.82 for library services.

A renewed library contribution agreement between the Nelson Municipal Library, Area F, defined portions of Area H, and Area E should be completed prior to the end of 2022 to ensure Area E’s participation in the service in 2023.

For more information, go to www.rdck.ca.

Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily

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