Kaslo Special Council meeting, Dec. 14, 2021: a municipal Zincton summit?

·3 min read

Moyie grant

The village is going to support an application by the Kootenay Lake Historical Society for a grant to do much-needed restoration work on the SS Moyie.

Maintenance on the century-old paddlewheeler has been underway for some time, but really crucial (and expensive) repairs have yet to be funded. That changed recently when Society volunteers heard the ‘Time Immemorial 150 Grant’ was now accepting applications.

The grant will allow an organization to apply for up to $500,000 to “support shovel-ready projects to conserve, repair, rehabilitate or develop cultural heritage infrastructure that is valued and used by the diverse communities where it is situated”.

The funding program aims to “advance reconciliation and learning; promote a diverse and inclusive society including honouring underrepresented and marginalized communities in our history… and support resiliency into the next 150 years.”

The work on the Moyie is estimated to cost $405,000. With funding support from the Columbia Basin Trust ($35,000 requested), the Village of Kaslo ($20,000 requested) and $35,000 fundraised by the Historical Society, the project would apply to the granting agency for the rest.

That works out to public funds contributing to five per cent of the project, noted Administrative Officer Catherine Allaway.

“In terms of leveraging taxpayers’ dollars in order to get the best value for that money, I think that turning $20,000 of village funds into a project budget of $405,000 is pretty respectable,” she told council.

Councillors didn’t need much persuading – the Moyie is a village-owned asset – so councillors passed a motion to provide a letter of support for the grant application, along with a commitment to spend $20,000 to show community commitment to the project.

They should hear back on their application by February.

A Zincton summit?

Village councillors are going to ask for more time to reply to the Zincton ski resort proposal.

The council directed staff to ask the provincial Mountain Resorts Branch for an extension to their response deadline to Feb. 15, 2022.

The village was supposed to formally respond by late November on the project, which is applying for tenure for 5,500 ha of land about 30 km west of Kaslo for an all-seasons ski, hike and cycle resort. That deadline was extended by the province by a month, after receiving thousands of responses from the public on the project. Now council says it needs even more time to respond.

That was in part because of a letter from the mayor of Silverton, asking the neighbouring municipalities if they shouldn’t meet to discuss a co-ordinated approach to the resort project.

“To this end, the Village of Silverton believes we need direct government‐to‐government dialogue before these projects proceed, rather than a piecemeal evaluation after the fact,” wrote Colin Ferguson. “Considering the merits and effects of one of these developments in the absence of the other will not paint a full picture of their impacts.”

While Silverton council says it’s taking a neutral stand to the project at this time, Ferguson added “the known trajectories of similar ski developments elsewhere present a compelling argument for pause and education.”

Staff were directed to continue talks with other local municipal officials and politicians to come up with a meeting. RDCK Area D Director Aimee Watson and Area H Director Walter Popoff will also be invited to attend any discussion.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

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