Nakusp has opted out of RDCK’s sustainability service that they signed onto in 2009, and they’re not alone. Six more directors have decided not to participate in the service, and there may be more, said Nakusp mayor Karen Hamling. Taxation for the service began in 2010, and involved the creation of a part-time coordinator position for green initiatives and services in the area, Hamling told the Arrow Lakes News.
A report this summer caused the mayor some concern that the projects being tackled by the service were not relevant to the municipality, and so the decision was made by the Village to serve notice to withdraw from program.
A surplus of $160,700 was reported last year ($92,000 of which was from a grant received just before March 31), said the Nakusp mayor, and if the money isn’t being spent, let alone on projects that are relevant locally, there is no point in continuing to feed the kitty. Although Nakusp’s contribution is somewhere between the three- and four-thousand dollar mark, Hamling is convince the money would be better spent closer to home.
“Our council is already active and we’d like to choose our own initiatives,” said Hamling, who pointed to the Kootenay Lake Partnership, the Fortis Kootenay Energy Diet and mosquito control as three projects run through the service that do not affect Nakusp.
There are overlapping programs, such as the wood stove exchange and BearAware, but Hamling said the Village is either already involved independently or can take them on independent of the regional district.
Because a 24-month notice is required to opt out, Nakusp will be taking part in the sustainability service for the next two years. However, if there are more directors who decide to leave, that may change and the service may have to be reorganized, said Hamling.
“There’s a trend of pulling back from areas that maintain services where there’s a surplus,” the Nakusp mayor said, who believes no more taxation should be collected if there is a surplus year after year.