On Tuesday, October 21, starting at 11 a.m., the Lower Columbia Community Development Team Society’s (LCCDTS) Community Directed Funds Committee (the Committee) hosted the first of three Public Input Opportunity sessions in Rossland (the second and third ones occurring in Trail and Fruitvale, respectively).
Nearly 40 people attended the drop-in session to provide input and guidance to the Committee on how a new fund could be spent within the region. With a funding allocation of $600,000 over three years from the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), the Committee was formed to identify priorities for this money. Formed under the LCCDTS — a group whose purpose is “to advance the economic strength of the Lower Columbia region by overseeing the development cooperative implementation of developmental initiatives important to the area” — the Committee’s role is to “develop a plan and priorities for the Lower Columbia (Fruitvale, Montrose, Rossland, Trail, Warfield and Areas A and B of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary).” This plan will then be used to guide how the CBT’s multi-year funding should be used to support the vision of “a stronger Lower Columbia Community through investment in creative initiatives.”
As per CBT requirements, the plan needed to have “appropriate and transparent community engagement” to support the implementation of funding through various forms of community consultation. Throughout September, online and hard copy surveys were available throughout the Lower Columbia Region to help identify ideas and potential priorities. 277 responded to the survey and from these responses, themes were identified and grouped. The next step in the consultation process was to identify priorities through both a stakeholder focus group process and the Public Input Opportunity sessions. Once complete, the Committee will evaluate the information and develop a guide on how the $600,000 can be used. It is expected that results will be available before the end of 2014.
For more information on the Community Directed Funds Committee or the Lower Columbia Community Development Team, please visit www.lccdts.com or contact Economic Development Coordinator, Terry Van Horn at (250) 364-6461