District of Lillooet and SLRD Electoral Area B Economic Development Service Establishing Bylaw

Aug 15, 2022
Electoral Area B, Electoral Area D

District of Lillooet and SLRD Electoral Area B Economic Development Service Establishing Bylaw

Summary

A Request for Decision was considered at the SLRD Board meeting, July 27, 2022, recommending the District of Lillooet and Electoral Area B Economic Development Service Establishing Bylaw, to address the opportunity to promote economic development; the proposed bylaw received first three readings of the Board and support from the Electoral Area B Director. The proposal was also presented at the District of Lillooet Council meeting on August 9, 2022 where it received approval from the District of Lillooet.

The Board also directed, on at the July 27, 2022 Board meeting, that a contract be drafted with the Lillooet Agriculture and Food Society to promote implementation of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Area B, District of Lillooet & St’át’imc Agricultural Plan for the Lillooet Agriculture and Food Society.

Background

The proposed Service Area includes all of the District of Lillooet and all of the SLRD’s Electoral Area B.

The Bylaw is proposed to establish a service for the purpose of promoting economic development, including but not limited to Agriculture and Food initiatives, within the District of Lillooet and Electoral Area B. The intention is to build on collaborative partnerships between SLRD Electoral Area B and the District of Lillooet.

The establishment of the service requires authorization by the SLRD Board via the proposed bylaw.

One important area identified by the directors for the proposed service area for promoting economic development is the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Area B, District of Lillooet & St’át’imc Agricultural Plan that was adopted in 2014.

The Lillooet region has a long history of cattle ranching, farming and fruit production. Recent ventures into hops, grape-growing, wine-making, cannabis and value-added processing are fueling excitement about the area’s agricultural potential.

The proposed bylaw provides for entering into contracts with external parties to deliver the Service within the Service Area. If the proposed bylaw is adopted, it is further proposed that the SLRD enter into a contract with Lillooet Agriculture and Food Society (LAFS), a registered non-profit society established to implement the Agricultural Plan, to support the continued implementation of the Agricultural Plan by providing LAFS with sustainable funding to continue promoting agriculture as an important economic development opportunity in Lillooet and Area B. Some of the other economic development opportunities include tourism, construction, forestry, renewable energy and mining.

Generally service establishment bylaws require approval of the electorate by way of either assent voting or an alternative approval process. However, in this instance the proposed bylaw is eligible for section 339 (2)(d) “the promotion of economic development” of the Local Government Act which requires that the participating area includes all of the electoral area(s) and that the service can be established without borrowing.

Costs to establish the proposed service are borne by the service, if established and otherwise funded by general government. If approved and adopted by the Board, the service establishing bylaw may proceed through the regular process in preparation for inclusion on the 2023 revised assessment roll or 2024 completed roll, depending on the timing of approval by the Inspector of Municipalities.

The proposed bylaw has been worded broadly to permit revenue sources in addition to property taxation, including fees and charges, agreement, enterprise, gift, grant or other means permitted by legislation. This provides the greatest flexibility to apply for grants, receive gifts, or use discretionary funds and thereby reduce the impact to taxation. The tax rate for the proposed bylaw will be set annually as part of the budget process and based on the funds required to support the administration and operation of the service as set by the participating areas – the District of Lillooet and Area B.

The financial contribution to LAFS, for each of the years 2021 and 2022 is $32,000. It is proposed that the contract with LAFS would be for $32,000 in 2023 as well. Based on the 2022 Revised Assessment Roll, it is estimated that the residential tax rate would be $0.04298 based on converted values, with an annual estimated cost to the taxpayer of $4.30 per $100, 000 of assessed value.

Important Information

Contact
Melany Helmer
SLRD Corporate Services Consultant
604-894-6371 ext. 259
mhelmer@slrd.bc.ca

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