Fraser Basin Council to receive $25,000 from City of Merritt

By on December 1, 2017
Nicola Lake. (Herald file photo)

The City of Merritt is sending more funding to the Fraser Basin Council (FBC) for its ongoing work in the Nicola Valley.

Acting on a notice of motion from Coun. Diana Norgaard, the non-profit organization, which advocates for sustainability in the Fraser Basin area, will receive $25,000 to support its environmental protection initiatives in Merritt.

In October, Tracy Thomas, an assistant regional manager with the FBC, came before city council with a request for continued funding support.

“Ms. Thomas came to us with that ask and I’m putting that ask forward,” Norgaard said at Tuesday’s meeting.

The city has given the FBC $25,000 in each of the past two years, director of finance Sheila Thiessen told council.

Coun. Mike Goetz said he would like to see the FBC produce reports outlining how the city’s funding is being spent.

In response Norgaard said Thomas has come before them on an annual basis to update council on the FBC’s ongoing work.

“If you want a written report, I’m sure Ms. Thomas would be able to provide that,” said Norgaard.

Mayor Neil Menard said he thinks sending the FBC this funding is the right thing to do.

“I believe [Thomas] has come here a couple times and I also feel very strongly with that group that if we need anything or want information they wouldn’t even hesitate to be here and get it for us,” said Menard.

Council carried the motion to send the FBC $25,000 by a 6-1 vote with only councillor Goetz opposed.

During the Oct. 10 council meeting, Thomas updated council on some of the FBC’s past projects in the area as well as ongoing initiatives.

Those past projects include shoreline erosion control at Monck Park, and trying to prevent the spread of Eurasian milfoil — an invasive weed that can be found around the shoreline of Nicola Lake.

The FBC is currently working on improving the management of the Nicola Lake dam through the development of an algorithm that is designed to help inform decision making by running online scenarios, Thomas said. The FBC is also conducting groundwater mapping in the Nicola Valley, she told council.

Established in 1997, the FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations), along with those from the private sector and civil society.

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