Thompson-Nicola Regional District is withholding the grant-in-aid for Upper Clearwater Community Hall.
The decision was made following a request from Carol Schaffer, TNRD director for Wells Gray Country (Area A) during the July 16 regional district board meeting.
According to the minutes of the meeting, director Schaffer advised that, due to possible limitations on use of the hall by all community members, she was requesting that the 2015 grant-in-aid be withheld.
The grant will continue to be withheld until she and staff are satisfied that the hall is available for community use.
The hall, which is owned and operated by the Upper Clearwater Farmers Institute, has been the source of some controversy over the past few years.
The TNRD provides a grant-in-aid of $5,000 per year from property owners in the area to help operate the hall.
In a survey carried out earlier this year, a slim majority (30 out of 57 respondents) was in favor of continuing the grant-in-aid during 2015,
However, a second question in the survey resulted in more mixed results. The second question was: “What should happen with this grant-in-aid service in 2016 and beyond?” and had three choices.
Of the 57 replies, 27 selected Option A, that the TNRD should, “… continue to collect taxes for a grant-in-aid to the Upper Clearwater Farmers Institute for the operation of the Upper Clearwater Community Hall,” 19 selected Option B, that the TNRD should, “… not collect taxes but should keep the grant-in-aid service in place just in case funding is required for the community hall in the years ahead,” and 11 selected Option C, that the TNRD should, “… carry out a public assent process to eliminate the grant-in-aid service entirely.”
As of press-time earlier this week, director Schaffer had not replied to messages asking for comments.
Upper Clearwater Farmers Institute did submit a letter to the Times.