Residents, businesses and visitors in the West Boundary will benefit from a change in the ownership and management of the Riverside Centre that promises to boost local services and promote wider community development, according to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).
RDKB completed the purchase of the Centre in July with Federal Gas Tax funding and a five-year loan out of Area E Economic Development service. The purchase was included in 2022 property taxes.
Trails to the Boundary Society (TTTBS) will manage the Center with existing staff and volunteers.
The District says this makes the not-for-profit stewards a magnet for external grants and future development opportunities. Over $30K in annual rental revenue is expected to return to Area E as a result.
“A large number of services currently run out of the Centre. Our competent and forward-looking staff, coupled with a host of valuable community volunteers, ensures continued growth. Promotion of the West Boundary, its opportunities and economic development are foremost in our minds,” said Patricia Henley, the president of the TTTBS, in a statement.
The Center has many perks, including free WiFi, electric vehicle charging stations, printing services and a board room.
It is also home to a visitor information centre, local artisan products, art and history books, Osoyoos Credit Union office, Boundary Invasive Species office, Boundary Family Services outreach, the Ministry of Children & Family Development, Boundary Women’s Coalition and much more.
“This is an exciting milestone for the West Boundary. I’m grateful to the Rock Creek Farmers’ Institute and Osoyoos Credit Union for taking the bold step to purchase the land back in 2018 and finance the construction,” said former Area E/West Boundary Director Vicki Gee.
Gee drove the move for the RDKB board to purchase the Center from its joint owners, which had formed a co-operative with the TTTBS and Boundary Family Service to lease and build the land.
“We had a vision for a community space that would be accessible daily to deliver free core services. Due to the intensive service focus of the Centre, it made sense that local government own it.”