City may have to pay RDCK bill

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
September 2nd, 2009

It may be time for the City of Castlegar to pay the piper, as meetings with the Minister of Community and Rural Development, Bill Bennett, seem to indicate that a letter will soon be forthcoming directing the city to pay a $375,000 requisition to the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK).

The issue arose when the local pulp mill, Celgar, declined to pay its $3.6-million municipal tax bill, which included the $375,000 owed the RDCK.

The city then took the position that, as they were merely collecting taxes on behalf of the regional district, the issue was between the RDCK and Celgar, and the city would not pay the requistion.

The RDCK begged to differ, arguing the money was owed to provide co-operative services, primarily recreation, to the area, regardless who had or had not paid their taxes to the city.
It would appear provincial authorities agree with the regional district, as Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff said he was told, in a meeting yesterday with Bennett, that the aforementioned letter was in the works.

Because it was a decision of council not to pay the requistion, the matter must come before council again for the bill to be paid – and Chernoff said if that comes to pass, he’ll support making the payment.

“If that’s what the government says, then that’s we’ve got to do,” he said.

City councillor Russ Hearne agreed, saying he, too, would support the payment if the city is thus directed. Whether the matter comes up in the next council meeting, slated for Sept.8, depends entirely on whether the letter is received in time.

Categories: General


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