Steve Hubrecht/Columbia Valley Pioneer
Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality is making it clear that it doesn’t plan to take a seat at the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors table any time soon — Jumbo council passed a resolution at its most recent council meeting to push back the time when it is scheduled to do just that.
The resolution was proposed by Jumbo mayor Greg Deck at the Tuesday, March 15th council meeting, requesting the provincial government amend the part of the municipality’s letters patent (the provincial legislation that created and incorporated the mountain resort municipality) that would have seen it become a sitting member of the RDEK when it either had sufficient residents, reached a certain level of assessment, or in January 2017 — whichever came first.
“We have do not have those residents yet,” said Mr. Deck, who was participating in the meeting by phone, noting the January 2017 date is coming up soon. He said that although the municipality is chipping in financially to the RDEK by paying hospital and RDEK taxes, there is little point in it doing any more than that.
“All the reasons to not have an active role in the RDEK will still be there in January 2017 and are still sound,” he said. “I think we should ask the provincial government to extend that original timeline for another three years to January 2020 (by amending the letters patent).” He added the move should not attract any controversy. Mr. Deck later said the proposed three-year extension does not necessarily mean that January 2020 is when the municipality expects to have enough residents or be developed enough to warrant a seat on the RDEK board of directors, and in that sense is somewhat arbitrary.
“It’s difficult to say (when there will be residents and development) because there are many outside factors that make it hard to predict that schedule,” said Mr. Deck.
The resolution passed unanimously.
During the meeting, Jumbo council also gave initial readings to its 2016-2020 financial plan bylaw and received and accepted the municipality’s 2015 audited financial statements. Jumbo chief financial officer Karen Sharp pointed out a discrepancy between the two documents — that the financial plan bylaw (which is the municipality’s budget) shows the Small Communities Grant and Community Works Fund coming in in future years, while the 2015 audited financial statements shows them being deferred during the previous year. The Jumbo municipality receiving these grants has been the subject of previous controversy.
“We still have to recognize on the financial plan that we could have that money coming in. I have to show in the (2016) budget the potential for these funds to come in,” said Ms. Sharp. “In the actual financial statement at the end of the year (2016), that’s when it will show we have deferred the funds.”
As evidence, she pointed to the 2015 financial statements, page five of which has a budgeted revenue of about $250,000 in government transfers contrasted with an actual revenue of roughly $121,000 in government transfers. “We did not actually receive the Small Communities Grant, we deferred it. The figures show how that works out,” she said.
The financial plan bylaw will likely be adopted at the next Jumbo council meeting.