Many communities opt in

Kimberley stands alone as only community not to purchase offsets

The Regional Districts of Central Kootenay (RDCK), Kootenay-Boundary (RDKB), and East Kootenay (RDEK), and the municipalities of Fruitvale, Kaslo, Trail, Midway, Slocan, Rossland, Greenwood and Invermere have all signed on to jointly purchase Kootenay-based carbon offsets. More local East Kootenay will be making the decision in the coming weeks.

Thus far, Kimberley is the only community that has decided to opt out. Kimberley City Council voted last week to hold off on purchasing offsets until a local project could be found. The money will be put in a fund until such time as a Kimberley, or at least RDEK-based, project can be identified.

Lee-Ann Crane, CAO of the RDEK says she can’t comment on the decision by Kimberley Council.

“This decision is very much for individual jurisdictions to decide on,” she said.

The communities who have signed on will be purchasing offsets through Carbon Neutral Kootenays, which is jointly funded by the Columbia Basin Trust and the Regional Districts.

Kimberley Council, in a split four to three vote, turned down the opportunity to purchase offsets through the Darkwoods conservation project in the West Kootenay.

Councillors Oakley, Goodwin, Middlebrook and McCormick didn’t want to see the money leave Kimberley.

Crane says the RDEK would also like to see a project closer to home, but in the meantime the RDEK has voted to purchase offsets through Carbon Neutral Kootenays.

“We are all looking forward to finding projects for investment locally. Carbon Neutral Kootenays is actively looking and will continue to look through 2013.”

Crane said she did not believe that Kimberley opting out would affect the price per tonne paid for offsets.