The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) holds one yearly board meeting in a location other than Kamloops; and this year the TNRD directors will be coming to Merritt on August 17 and 18.
“It exposes the directors to other areas within the region,” says Carolyn Black, the TNRD’s director of community services. “And it gives members of the public an opportunity to attend a TNRD meeting outside Kamloops.”
August 17 is an education day for the board members, most of whom are area directors and mayors from the municipalities and electoral areas within the TNRD’s vast region. “They’ll visit points of interest in and around town,” says Black. Representatives from the City of Merritt will also update the board on various local projects.
The day is capped off with a volunteer appreciation dinner. “It’s a way of thanking people who volunteer for the TNRD in the City of Merritt and Electoral Area ‘M’ for their time.” Next year’s TNRD out of town meeting will be in Ashcroft and Cache Creek.
Black says one of the major things the TNRD does is provide landfills, eco-depots, and transfer stations. In Ashcroft, the TNRD provides a tender for the fire department. Municipalities within the TNRD can also take advantage of the TNRD’s mosquito and noxious weed control programs.
Electoral area directors such as Steve Rice (Area “I”, which includes Spences Bridge and Walhachin) can direct funds to things such as fire protection, water supplies, sewer services, parks and community halls. “They’re providing municipal services on a smaller scale to local areas,” explains Black. Funding is assessed on a case-by-case basis in each place. “It depends on the needs and wants of the community.”
Funding can also be directed to municipalities that provide benefits and services to electoral area residents. In April, Rice directed $20,000 in TNRD funding to Lytton to help pay for infrastructure upgrades to the pool there.
“I keep my ears open with regards to facilities used by Area ‘I’ residents,” says Rice. “I didn’t hesitate to give them funds for the pool, which is used by people from Spences Bridge to Siska.”
More about funding for the Lytton pool
Black also notes that the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission, which is part of the TNRD, benefits the entire region, and has been a very strong force in the Cache Creek and Ashcroft areas. “The film commission is very active and successful in getting film work in our area.”
The Merritt board meeting for the TNRD takes place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 18 in the Merritt Civic Centre. All are welcome.