Columbia Basin Trust provides almost $100M to programs

Columbia Basin Trust is working on finalizing a short-term strategic plan

The Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) injected millions into the economy last year.

According to its 2019/20 Annual Service Plan Report, the Trust provided $97.3 million for programs, initiatives and capital investments to positively impact the communities and people of the Basin.

“Working with partners and communities, we’ve kept moving forward on the things that the people in the Basin have told us matters to them including affordable housing, childcare and the environment,” Johnny Strilaeff, Trust president and CEO said in a press release.

The number includes $68.6 million in grants, $12.2 million in capital projects to support economic development and broadband infrastructure, along with $9.2 million in business loans and $7.3 million in real estate and commercial investments.

Continued efficient and reliable operations of its jointly owned hydroelectric facilities in the West Kootenay along with investments in real estate and business loans, saw revenues increase to $85.4 million, helping the Trust continue to address the 13 priorities set out in the Columbia Basin Management Plan.

These priorities guide the Trust’s efforts to support communities and were advanced in over the last year through 2,157 projects along with the introduction of new programs and initiatives.

“We are grateful for their vision, support and collaboration over the last 25 years and are deeply appreciative of how we have been able to grow and evolve as we worked together to serve the people and communities in the region,” Strilaeff said.

“Now, as we continue to adapt to the public health challenges of COVID-19, we are looking ahead and asking residents what’s most important to them over the next 18 to 24 months, what matters most to their family, what matters most in their community, and how can we work together to address those priorities.”

The Trust is working on finalizing a short-term strategic plan to determine its focus over the next 18 to 24 months. The new plan is expected to be released later in September.

“The past six months have been difficult for communities and residents, but it has also shown how strong and resilient we are as a region,” Strilaeff said. “As an organization, there have been valuable learnings for our staff and Board about how we work with communities in ways that are most meaningful for them.

“We are looking forward to hearing from residents and incorporating their feedback to develop a short-term plan that is relevant and purposeful as we continue to navigate a challenging and evolving situation together.”

The Trust’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place online on Sept. 18 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Fiscal performance highlights will be presented from the 2019/20 Annual Service Plan Report, and progress on strategic priorities and the development of the new strategic plan will be shared.

The Trust welcomes questions and comments from Basin residents.

To participate in the AGM, register online at ourtrust.org.

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