The RDEK was allocated roughly $1.2 million in funding. File Photo

CBT funnels millions into funding community initiatives

The Community Initiatives and Affected Area’s funding was distributed by the RDEK

The Columbia Basin Trust’s (CBT) Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs (CIP/AAP) received approval for the funding of 110 projects throughout the region. Administered by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) and approved by the RDEK board of directors, the projects will be funded throughout the upcoming year.

According to the CBT website, the CIP/AAP are created to support local projects benefiting communities and the public good. The program is administered and managed by respective communities and governments to allow for locally made project and activity selections.

The CBT allocated an annual total of $4.2 million to the programs, dividing funding among local government and Indigenous partners. According to the CBT website, this year the RDEK received approximately $1.2 million in funding.

This funding will cover “everything from youth mental health and education initiatives to recreation programs, equipment purchases and facility upgrades,” said RDEK board chair, Rob Gay. “When you look at the range of projects and sectors across the region that benefit, it really highlights what a profound difference the Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs make in our communities. We remain deeply grateful to the trust for its ongoing support.”

According to the RDEK’s website, the Community Initiatives Program is used within the East Kootenay to fund prioritized projects within the regional district. The Affected Areas Program reinvests funding into communities particularly affected by dam construction under the Columbia River Treaty. Communities within 10 kilometres of Lake Koocanusa including Jaffray, Elko and other Electoral Area B municipalities fall under said zoning.

The board approved the funding at their June board meeting, after reviewing recommendations from electoral area directors, municipalities, and the public. Due to COVID-19 closures, an online engagement platform was created to allow the public to review and submit comments on the proposals. Almost 490 comments were received and forwarded to specific areas to aid board members with proposal adjudication.

Many projects within the Elk Valley were selected for funding, including the Elk Valley’s Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History who received $3,882 for their Pages from the Past project. The Elk River Watershed Alliance received $6,197 to assist with community based water monitoring through sedimentation study and community outreach within the Elk Valley. Angel Flight East Kootenay received $5,917 to go towards set up costs and aircraft equipment.

For a full list of all approved projects, visit the RDEK website.

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