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Scotch Creek incorporation study denied

CSRD directors unconvinced of need for look at local governance.
CSRD photo Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors have turned down a request to support incorporation for Scotch Creek.

Scotch Creek is to remain unincorporated for the time being.

Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors will not be asking the province to approve a formal governance study for Scotch Creek.

In May 2016, the board considered a letter the North Shuswap Incorporation Feasibility Study Group (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 they did not formally endorse the proposed study, the board did agree to staff time to assist the consulting team with information gathering.

Undeterred, 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 currently made by directors who live more than 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 reviewed the report and Tarry’s request, and recommended the board turn down the NSIFS request for several reasons: The report fails to provide sufficient evidence that incorporation of Scotch Creek is feasible or realistic, 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, 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.