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Scotch Creek incorporation request turned down

Regional district directors do not support furthering Scotch Creek incorporation push.
Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors have turned down a request to support incorporation for Scotch Creek. Credit:

There was no appetite among Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors to support the North Shuswap Incorporation Feasibility Study Group (NSIFS) by requesting the Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development to approve a formal governance study for Scotch Creek.

In May 2016, the board considered a letter from NSIFS, requesting support in researching information to better understand opportunities for local governance and the feasibility of incorporation.

Directors also perused a TRUE Consulting proposal and while directors did not formally endorse the proposed study, they did agree to staff time to assist the consulting team with information gathering.

Despite the fact CSRD directors did not endorse the proposal, the Incorporation Feasibility Study Group proceeded with, and paid for, a TRUE Consulting report, which was completed in 2016.

In a January 2017 letter to the board, NSIFS chair Jeff Tarry indicated there is a desire for improvements in local services, sewer and water services for the primary settlement area, both for quality of drinking water and ability to expand settlement.

The letter also states the community wants greater control over decisions that affect their area and are currently made by directors who live over 250 kilometres away and “who have never likely visited our area.”

Tarry was in attendance at the Jan. 19 board meeting in case the chair authorized directors to ask questions or clarify any issues.

CSRD Chief Administrative Officer Charles Hamilton had reviewed the report and Tarry’s request and recommended the board turn the the NSIFS request to advance discussion on local governance for several reasons: The report fails to provide sufficient evidence that incorporation of Scotch Creek is feasible or realistic at this time and the report provides no evidence the North Shuswap’s aspirations and development objectives cannot be achieved through the regional district.

“The Study Report fails to adequately explain why a change in local governance is needed or should be considered,” he said. “And, In light of other governance study initiatives the CSRD is currently undertaking, the CSRD does not have the resources or capacity to embark on another governance review at this time.”

Directors agreed and turned down the NSIFS request, but did approve Hamilton’s suggestion that the Area F director and CSRD staff meet with NSIFS reps to better understand why they want to incorporate.