Regional district to fund SLIPP successor with gas tax

It won’t look the same, but a successor to the Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP) will move forward.

  • Nov. 13, 2013 3:00 p.m.

It won’t look the same, but a successor to the Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP) will move forward.

Five of six Columbia Shuswap Regional District electoral area directors voted last week to approve funding up to $240,000 for the successor organization that will address water quality and safety issues in the Shuswap Watershed.

Funding will be taken from the regional district’s joint gas tax pool, and not from individual electoral area gas tax funds or from taxpayers’ pockets.

Area F North Shuswap director Larry Morgan was vehement in his opposition to SLIPP before last Thursday’s meeting in Salmon Arm and the only one to vote against continuing the program in any form.

But on Friday, Morgan said he had aired his concerns and was now “toning down the rhetoric.”

“After discussion with some people there that work with me on the North Shuswap, I decided to work with the decision that’s been made,” he said.  “I will work with the directors regarding SLIPP and will do what we can to help make this work.”

Morgan said his decision is based on the fact it would be counterproductive to continue opposing SLIPP and that he wants to ensure some of the North Shuswap’s core needs can move ahead.

Area C South Shuswap director and chair of the SLIPP steering committee, Paul Demenok says he is looking forward to collaborating with all stakeholders to develop the best possible plan of action for the Shuswap Watershed.

Demenok says the proposal has yet to be approved by the whole CSRD board, something he hopes will take place tomorrow. As well, he says the plan itself needs to be approved at the Dec. 4 SLIPP steering committee.

Demenok said the reason the proposal had to be brought forward at last Thursday’s electoral area meeting was because of upcoming budget considerations.

In terms of the amount of money to be taken from the gas tax fund, Demenok said it could be less, depending on what other funding partners come forward.

Work can now begin on a successor organization to SLIPP to be designed to take water quality and safety coordination in the Shuswap Watershed to the next level including remediation. It will be made in the Shuswap Watershed, for the Shuswap Watershed, with broad public input.