Columbia Basin Trust wants to hear from local citizens

Public meetings scheduled for 11am - 2pm Trail today and Rossland next week.

  • Nov. 26, 2014 6:00 p.m.

The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) will be in Trail today as part of a tour around the basin, asking for residents to share their thoughts.

The Trust has been visiting communities since mid-September asking residents what they believe needs the most work and where they want to see money spent, in their communities, and now it is Trail’s turn to have a say.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Trust will be set up in the Trail Memorial Centre gym, ready to listen to any concerns, questions or suggestions from local residents. It is a drop-in afternoon event and anyone can come by to chat.

The gym will reopen at 4 p.m. for a second drop-in session, followed by a dinner and “facilitated conversation” at 5:30 p.m.

Everyone who presents a thought or an idea about where the CBT’s money should go will have their name entered in a draw for $1,000 to be donated to a non-profit or charitable organization of the winner’s choice.

The ultimate goal for CBT is to create action plans based on the ideas and input they receive.

Neil Muth, CBT president and CEO, says gathering community input is vital to understanding resident needs in many different areas.

“Economic development and diversification, agriculture and food security, ecosystem restoration and conservation and affordable housing – these are just some of the themes that have been highlighted (at previous meetings), and we look forward to continuing our engagement process to understand what is important to communities,” he wrote in a release.

CBT is currently in Phase One of a year-long plan, “Our Trust, Our Future”,  and will have visited 19 communities before beginning Phase Two in the spring of 2015.

In March, the Trust will begin a second round of meetings and plan to have its action plans finished by next October.

The Trust will also be swinging by Rossland and Castlegar next week. In Rossland, CBT will be in town on Dec. 1 at the Miner’s Hall for a drop-in session from 4 to 5:30 p.m., with dinner and conversation afterwards.

On Dec. 3, CBT will be setting up in the Castlegar and District Community Complex from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 5:30 p.m. with a dinner to follow.

Those who can’t make it to the scheduled input sessions have plenty of other opportunities to let the CBT know what they think.

The Trust is encouraging local residents to have their own conversations with friends and family by emailing to request a meeting kit, or to invite a CBT rep to come discuss the future of the basin.

The organization will also accept online input at