The newly named Valley Community Services Society (formerly the Creston and District Community Resource Centre Society) now owns a premises that houses administrative and some program functions. But it won’t get a permissive tax exemption from the town of Creston until 2017, if at all.
That was the message delivered to executive director Serena Naeve and finance and administration manager Justine Keirn at the Aug. 12 regular town council meeting.
Naeve and Keirn appeared as a delegation to outline the non-profit society’s many community services to people of all ages. A request to be exempt from paying the municipal portion of its property taxes was not considered by council, although similar agencies do have exempt status.
Mayor Ron Toyota explained that council had adopted a policy to limit permissive tax exemption requests to a once-in-three-years window. He also cautioned that unless a future council increases the existing cap (1.75 per cent of total municipal taxes), full exemptions might not be available to non-profits.
“It will be at the discretion of the council at that time,” he said.
VCSS recently relocated to a renovated building on Pine Street from its longtime home above the medical clinic on 16th Avenue North.
•Eight recommendations from the previous week’s committee of the whole meeting were adopted.
•Small donations were approved for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats annual golf tournament and the Ducks Unlimited Canada dinner and auction.
•Finance director Steffan Klassen presented a report about the subsidy for users of the Prince Charles Theatre. The town’s subsidy of $5,000 last year has allowed the theatre “to hold its own”, keeping costs affordable and not eating into school district budgets, he said.
•Council directed staff to review the water rates and regulations bylaw and recommend updates to water conservation measures, metering considerations, enforceability and prohibition of water-wasting apparatus like swamp coolers.
•Membership in the International Selkirk Loop was renewed at a cost of $100.
•Creston Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Jared Riel reported that a series of events designed to increase public awareness about the fire department has been “a huge success”. The Hot Summer Nights program has been held in several locations, attracting local residents and children to check out fire fighting equipment and learn more about the services provided.
•Three bicycle rings currently in stock will be installed at strategic downtown locations.
•Updated bylaws for the parks, trails and public places and fees and charges amendment were adopted.
•Proposed first, second and third readings of an updated development cost charges bylaw were referred to the next meeting after Coun. Jerry Schmalz expressed concern that some portions seemed to conflict with what council had approved during previous discussions.