The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District was able to avert a possible revenue crisis for 2013 following a request by the District of Lillooet for $300,000 from the SLRD's Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) fund paid to it annually by BC Hydro.
The SLRD receives just over $1 million per annum from BC Hydro, with two-thirds of that funding generated by the two Bridge River generation stations and the La Joie generation station located just outside Lillooet in SLRD Areas A and B. From this, the town, which is the service centre for the northern part of the regional district, currently received just under $25,000 in 2012.
It was feared that BC Hydro funds that would normally flow to other SLRD communities would instead flow to Lillooet. To meet this and still maintain SLRD services, every community and area in the SLRD would have needed to find the equivalent of a one per cent increase in taxation. This led to heavy discussions at the SLRD board meeting of Jan. 28.
But at the district's Committee of the Whole meeting on Jan. 29, it was resolved for the board to keep funding allocations the way they were in 2012, said SLRD chair Patricia Heintzman. More information from the three northern jurisdictions was required and the ramifications to be better investigated.
"The entire board acknowledges the challenges that Lillooet is facing," said Heintzman in an interview. She added that the conversation over the PILT issue would continue in 2013 with the aim of a resolution in 2014.