Nelson City Council Talks Local Conservation Funds

Nelson City-Hall

A presentation to Nelson City Council a couple of weeks back regarding conservation funds saw a concept referred to staff for future discussion.

Conservation funds like the Columbia Valley and Kootenay Lake examples can provide non-profits, local governments and first nations bands financing for conservation projects through a mandatory levy.

Kootenay Conservation Society Executive Director Juliet Craig told Council on April 19th that 900 Kootenay residents were surveyed on their support for a dedicated fund for the entire region:

“Supporting the idea of a dedicated fund; 80% of residents support this idea…. When we look at support by region; in the Kootenay Lake area it’s 90% of residents. When we asked about contributing financially nearly two thirds of residents said they would be willing to contribute….”

Councillor Rik Logtenerg called the proposal a win-win:

“…. And I love how it doesn’t just provide a mechanism for doing the necessary conservation work that we need to do but it sounds like we actually would be tapping into some technical capacity which in some ways would save us money. Because these are conservation projects that we probably have to get involved with increasingly anyway….”

Mayor John Dooley says he likes the idea but has to put himself in the shoes of Nelson residents:

“What if we went out to the community and asked them for 20 bucks for the Library? The Rec’ Complex? The arts community, heritage, conservation; like should we do one-offs for every…. Project that we have in the municipality?”

Council directed staff to explore ideas like partnering with local Conservation Funds verses establishing their own Fund, for a future discussion.

Nelson City Council is back in action this evening and the Bounce Radio Newsroom will have more to follow.

Today’s Regular Meeting agenda includes a request to reconsider a Development Variance Permit at 1117 McQuarrie Avenue, recommendations on a Heritage Master Plan, Committee of the Whole Presentation Policy and much more.