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Creston town council awards Columbia Basin Trust funds

Creston town council announced at Tuesday’s regular meeting that Columbia Basin Trust funds totaling $56,527 would be distributed...
Creston Town Hall is located on 10th Avenue North.

Deciding which organizations get grants has never been this easy. Creston town council announced at Tuesday’s regular meeting that Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) Community Initiative Program (CIP) funds totaling $56,527 would be distributed to 25 local groups.

What made the decisions on which groups would get how much easy was that requests were actually less than the total dollars available.

“It was a surprise,” Mayor Ron Toyota admitted. “Requests added up to about $9,300 less than we had available ($65,863). To be clear, we didn’t just automatically give groups what they asked for — we made some reductions when we thought the request was for too much and we didn’t fund at least one group that wasn’t really local.”

Toyota said that CBT was asked whether the town could give some organizations more than they asked for.

“Technically, I guess we could have done that, but we were warned that it could set a dangerous precedent and we certainly understood that concern,” he said. “The good news is that the unawarded money will be added to next year’s total, so we aren’t losing it.”

Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Areas A ($33,883), B ($66,509) and C ($31.090) have been holding meetings to determine how to distribute their CIP funds.

CIP program funds are distributed once a year to CBT’s local government delivery partners, the regional districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary, and the City of Revelstoke, Town of Golden/Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area A, Village of Valemount and Ktunaxa Nation council. Each partner has its own process for recommending and selecting projects for funding.

The CBT is committed to providing more than $18 million in CIP funds from 2011-2015, of which the RDCK gets about $6.46 million, or nearly $1.3 million annually. The RDCK then distributes the funds to the areas and municipalities within its jurisdiction on a per capita basis, although no area gets less than $30,000.

Creston organizations receiving 2012 CIP funds include 1746 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps ($4,000), Addiction Recovery Centre of the Kootenays ($2,500), Central Kootenay Spay Neuter Animal Program Society ($3,000), Creston and District Community Resource Centre Society ($5,000), Creston and District Society for Community Living ($2,200), Creston Judo Club (first aid facilities, $155; National Judo Championships, $1,415), Creston Pet Adoption and Welfare Society ($5,000), Creston Valley Blossom Festival Association ($4,500), Creston Valley Community Radio Society ($500), Creston Valley Fall Fair Association ($1,000), Creston Valley Figure Skating Club ($2,000), Creston Valley Food Action Coalition (Harvest Share program, $2,500; farmers’ market, $1,250), Creston Valley Friends of the Community Greenhouse Society ($2,000), Creston Valley Horse Association ($500), Creston Valley Search and Rescue Society ($9,000), Creston Wave Swim Club ($1,000), Focus on Youth ($150), Health Arts Society ($2,000), Kootenay Literary Competition ($500), First Creston Scouts ($2,000), Silverwing Ecological Consulting (Kootenay community bat project, $250), Canadian Red Cross Society (Creston Valley branch, $1,107) and Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 29 ($3,000).