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General News · 20th January 2010
SCCA Board of Directors
The Southern Cortes Community Association (Manson’s Community Hall) and Whaletown Community Club have been funded by the Lottery Gaming Grants for administration and program costs for the past nine years.

You may have read, or heard, that the BC Provincial Government has announced that a decision will be made in the future about Gaming Grants. There has been coverage in the press that these grants may be reduced or eliminated. The Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA) relies entirely on the Gaming Grant Funding for operation, and programs, of Manson’s Hall. Short and long term lease income pays only for the physical running of the Hall including such costs as furnace oil, hydro, maintenance, janitorial, property upkeep and water purification.

The SCCA Board approached the Regional Director in 2007 and requested that Manson’s Community Hall be added to the Regional District funding as almost all the community halls in both the Strathcona and the Comox Regional Districts are currently funded.

The Strathcona Regional District passed Bylaw No. 55 on December 14, 2009 to establish a community hall service within and for the benefit of Electoral Area B (Cortes Island). The amount of the funding, using the “alternate approval process” (under section 801 of the Local Government act), can provide up to $161,951 without going to Referendum. The amount requested will be the amount required for operation of Manson’s Hall but can not exceed .50 per $1000 assessed value of the individual property which, under the current tax collection base, is the $160,000.

The amount, $160,000 is the maximum that can be raised using the “alternate approval process” is very confusing because the amount being requested is not $160,000, it will be between $20,000 to $34,000.

The process then is a Public Notice of an Alternative Approval Process is published which advises Area B (Cortes, Twin, Marina & Subtle Islands) that the Bylaw will be enacted if less than 10 per cent (approximately 99 people) of the total number of electors of the proposed service area object through a signed, and submitted elector response forms, opposing the board’s adoption of the proposed bylaw. If the Bylaw is opposed then the SRD must go to a referendum (vote) on the Bylaw.

The amount of the funding, using the “alternate approval process” (under section 801 of the Local Government act), can provide up to $161,951 without going to Referendum. The amount requested will be the amount required for operation of Manson’s Hall but can not exceed .50 per $1000 assessed value of the individual property which, under the current tax collection base, is the $161,951.

If the Bylaw is opposed the SRD must go to a referendum (vote) on the Bylaw.

Examples of Funds raised and levies:

Funds Raised Levy per $1,000 Annual tax for Annual tax for Annual tax
$200,000 home $500,000 home $1,000,000 home
$10,000 $0.0292 $ 5.84 $ 14.60 $ 29.20
$30,000 $0.0876 $17.52 $ 43.80 $ 87.60
$50,000 $0.1458 $29.16 $ 72.90 $ 143.80
$80,000 $0.2333 $46.66 $166.65 $233.33

answers
Comment by Noba Anderson on 24th January 2010
Whether or not this bylaw passes is entirely up to the community. If it fails this time, I will be recommending to the SRD board that we bring a revised version back for your consideration for the 2011 tax year. I think that core tax funding for our community spaces is worth due consideration. I hear your comment about this being a time of year when fewer residents are on Cortes. Given the newness of the SRD and the very few staff in 2009, this item moved along as quickly as possible at the SRD level and could not have come for community comment any sooner. This is also as late as possible leaving time enough to be considered for the 2010 budget year. All Cortes residents and property owners who are qualified BC electors may vote on this issue. Renters are eligible to vote as they are residents based on the principle that they too pay taxes through rent. And yes, property owners whose primary residence is elsewhere may vote as long as they are a qualified BC vote. Thanks for the good questions and your interest on this matter.
Noba Anderson
correction
Comment by Noba Anderson on 22nd January 2010
One correction to the SCCA letter.
If more than 99 votes are cast against this proposed bylaw, the SRD Board is not required to go to referendum. That would be the only avenue open to the board if we still wanted this particular bylaw to go through. We could also drop the existing bylaw and bring back another one for the communities consideration for the 2011 tax year.
Noba Anderson