Brief: Council recommends funding for economic development projects

City recommends funding for economic development projects, awaits approval from CSRD.

File photo: Revelstoke city council at their Feb. 12, 2019 regular meeting. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

Revelstoke city council has selected a list of recommended economic development initiatives for the Revelstoke area to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board.

Discussion of the recommendations came at council’s Oct. 8 meeting. The discussion arose out of a review of how the city and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District share economic development funding. Currently, the city and regional district contribute to economic development projects through an agreement, which has expired.

The funding sources are complex, coming from a variety of funds, including payments that BC Hydro makes to the regional district for use of taxable property it uses for its infrastructure, such as dams. The city receives a percentage of the funding and pools it with the CSRD to fund economic development initiatives.

On Oct. 8, the council recommended the CSRD allocate $165,000 per year until 2021 for fund the Revelstoke Community Economic Development department. A second council recommendation asked for $212,000 from the CSRD’s Economic Opportunity Fund for 2019-20 initiatives and projects.

These economic opportunity fund projects include:

-$6,500 for community engagement process regarding recreational development, species recovery, and land use planning in the regional district

-$30,000 for purchase of one year of TELUSInsights data

-$27,000 to support development of a community profile for the city and regional district, including business resources, website content, land inventory of commercial and industrial sites, and statistical analysis

-$23,500 to conduct economic impact analysis on selected sectors

-$30,000 for implementation of the Technology Strategy 2.0, required for matching funds for Rural Dividend Fund project funding of $100,000

-$40,000 for build-out of new office space for tech programming, CED staff and project staff for on-site delivery of community economic development services

-$20,000 for implementation of the Food Security Strategy, specifically to support agri-food sector capacity and growth in the regional district

-$35,000 for recreational activity site development in the CSRD, upon completion of engagement process above, for initial feasibility studies, site planning and concept design

The source of the funding is complex; for more details see the staff report here.

For more, see the video on the discussion starting here: