People to now decide relevancy of funding library service for Area E

·2 min read

The people will now decide the relevancy of library services and whether or not to dig deeper and fund it.

Residents in the Regional District of Central Kootenay Area E will be moving to a public consultation period over drawing the entirety of electoral Area E into the Nelson Public Library service, delivering access that sustain both sides.

Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) staff have been instructed to prepare a service establishment bylaw for electoral Area E’s library contribution service “subject to staff conducting a public consultation process.”

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

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.

Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily

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