Columbia Basin residents and communities benefited from nearly $39 million in programs and services through Columbia Basin Trust, as released in its 2016/17 Annual Service Plan Report this week.
The Trust also invested $10 million in new business loans and commercial properties.
The Trust’s revenues reached $59 million over the year, an increase of $11 million from the previous fiscal year. The Trust generates revenues in three ways: through power project investments, investments in private placements and through market securities. All three performed at or above targets resulting in the increased revenues. This allowed the Trust to increase the benefits it delivers to the region, up from the $31 million it delivered the previous year.
“Through community consultations, we set out 13 strategic priorities for 2016 to 2020 to support Basin priorities. We made significant progress in several of our priority areas including developing strategic frameworks for affordable housing, agriculture, broadband and economic development, and launching two new programs, the Energy Retrofit Program and Built Heritage Grants,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer.
Highlights of the $39 million disbursed to communities include:
· $6.8 million to a new three-year partnership with Heritage BC to implement the Built Heritage Grants program that supports the preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of heritage assets
· $2 million to the new Energy Retrofit Program launched in partnership with BC Housing and BC Non-Profit Housing Association to upgrade affordable housing
· $1 million to the renewal of its long-standing partnership with Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy for an additional two years
· $6.2 million to environment, social and recreation infrastructure granting programs.
In addition to delivering benefits through grants and initiatives, the Trust is also purchasing, constructing and managing assets for community benefit. In the past year, the Trust invested $1.5 million to purchase a commercial building to further economic development and $1 million on infrastructure to support broadband initiatives.
“Our increased revenues allow us to increase our programs and investments to help offer a wider range of benefits to Basin communities and residents, and that’s great news. The Trust is well-positioned to continue to deliver on its mandate of helping residents strengthen the region’s social, economic and environmental well-being,” Strilaeff said.
Join staff and the Board of Directors at the Trust’s annual general meeting in Salmo on Sept. 22 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Salmo Valley Youth & Community Centre. The public is also invited to attend a community barbecue at the Salmo Ski Hill beginning at 6 p.m.
Learn more about the Trust’s progress on its strategic priorities at ourtrust.org/priorities. Read more about the Trust’s performance in its 2016/17 Annual Service Plan Report at ourtrust.org/annualreport2017.