March 11, 2015 - 7:30 PM
PENTICTON - The regional district continues to be interested in economic growth, but for the time being will not be implementing a full regional economic development service.
The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board of directors discussion regarding the establishment of a regional economic development service focused on the need for public assent for such a service, said Chief Administrative Officer Bill Newell in an email. He said the service envisioned would be “very lean,” to be used as a placeholder for functions already funded, such as the Okanagan Film Commission.
The discussion came about after West Bench Director Michael Brydon pointed out at a previous board meeting funding of annual initiatives like the Okanagan Film Festival were actually economic development initiatives being funded through grants in aid. He noted the board did not have taxpayers’ permission to requisition for such economic development initiatives.
Economic Development Officer for Electoral Area “D” John Powell attended the meeting to describe to the directors the cooperative initiatives already underway throughout the regional district amongst the existing economic development officers and board committees who focus on economic or tourism development.
Newell said the board has no interest in a full regional economic development service, but were more interested in all areas cooperating to create an economically fertile environment. The board would then rely on the private sector to generate that growth.
The regional district will begin the process of establishing an economic developments service this year. If it proves successful the service could be used to fund such items as the Okanagan Film Commission next year.
There will not be any economic impact to the 2015 budget.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015