Regional District of Kootenay Boundary ends contract with LCIC

RDKB cuts funding to Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is pulling out of its current model of economic development.

On Thursday, at a full board meeting in Grand Forks, 12 out of 13 directors supported the East End Services (EES) decision to discontinue the current mode of economic development through the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation (LCIC).

The main reason given is the cost of the service and the ability to sustain it.

“We (EES) did agree to this, but on a trial basis,” said Ali Grieve, chair.

If any of the partners wanted out, part of the obligation was to give notice by June 4, she said.

Grieve explained that six of the seven partners did not wish to continue with the model (LCIC), and provided that notice.

“The EES will meet in May to discuss the possibilities of other models of economic development and which municipalities will continue to participate going forward.”

The regional district, in particular the EES, committed to funding the Lower Columbia Community Development Team Society (LCCDTS) $224,000 per year as flow-through funding for the LCIC, until the review, at which time the board could decide if it was desirable to continue with the partnership.

At a mandated service review on April 16, the EES committee recommended to withdraw funding after its three-year contract ends in December.

“Our contract is with the LCCDTS and because it is for economic development, it is on an annualized basis,” said John MacLean, chief administrative officer for the RDKB.

“A work plan is presented which is what they (LCIC) will undertake for the following year for the money that we put forth to them,” he explained.

“The participants (EES) felt that the current situation was not sustainable and they were worried about the cost.”

MacLean said that although funding has been cut to the service that exists now, interest does remain amongst some of the participants to look into something different down the road.

“But what that might be, nobody knows at this stage.”

The LCIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the LCCDTS and was created in 2010 to provide economic development services within the Lower Columbia region; and to serve as the “first place of call” as opportunities develop.