The Regional District of Central Kootenay has adopted a dispute resolution process for its Columbia Basin Trust grant program, although it probably wouldn’t have changed anything in a recent controversy in Meadow Creek.
Under the new policy, if an organization or individual wants to complain about the process followed at a public consultation meeting on Trust funding, they have to submit it in writing within five days. The board will consider it at its next open meeting, at which time the director for the area or municipality in question will make a report and recommendation.
The board’s decision is final.
That is essentially what happened after a Howser resident complained about a meeting in April where residents first voted to accept a committee’s recommendations on apportioning funding to various groups. After some confusion, another vote was held, this time with residents filling out ballots indicating how much they thought each group should receive.
That resulted in some groups getting more money than under the first vote and others less.
Grant Trower of the Friends of the Lardeau River appealed to the board to honour the original vote, but based on the recommendation of area director Andy Shadrack, the ballot vote was upheld.
Last month chair John Kettle told Trower if he still wasn’t happy he could take it up with the Trust, but now says he agrees “this is our contract, we’re responsible for it.”
The proposed amendment will be sent to the Trust for approval. Chief executive officer Neil Muth previously indicated the particulars were up to the regional district and said disputes are extremely rare.
At rural Castlegar director Andy Davidoff’s urging, the board amended the wording slightly to recognize the fact different processes are used in different areas to decide on funding.