The Village of Telkwa approved a motion to submit a grant application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust for the Local Government Internship Program in a special council meeting Nov. 27.
The program provides grant funding for municipalities and regional districts within Northern Development’s service area to assist with the cost of hosting a local government intern for a 12-month period. The intern would be a recent graduate from the University of Northern British Columbia and would take a middle management position.
“We’re pleased to be able to participate. I think it’s a great opportunity to get young people involved in local government on the administration end to learn more about the processes, and hopefully Telkwa can be a positive partner in bringing up our next generation of CEOs and other public administration staff, ” said Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen.
If the application is approved Telkwa would receive $35,000 in funding, $30,000 of which must be used toward salary and benefits.
The minimum salary for the position is $40,000 and the Village must pay statutory benefits such as CPP, EI and four per cent vacation pay. Part of the grant, $5,000, must be used towards training and travel expenses.
In total the Village must pay $10,000 in wages and $5,000 in training out of its own pocket. Council agreed to put up $25,000 to cover these expenses as well as benefits.
BC Housing back pay
While reviewing the budget last year Repen noticed BC Housing had stopped giving payments to Telkwa housing for two years.
The mayor said this went on unnoticed before because the financial director at the time was away on medical leave and as result there were new staff members in place who were not aware of the missing funding.
The administration contacted BC housing about this issue and received a back payment of $13,000 which was equal to the funding they had had previously missed.
“We’re very pleased to make sure we have that because if we lose $3,000 or $4,000 or $5,000 a year in property taxation that’s a pretty significant impact on our budget,” said Repen.
Staff reports of revenue and expenses from different departments were presented to the administration during the special council meeting.
Heating revenues were lower than expected this year because of issues with starting the system this year, the mayor said.
“Overall, when you look at the staff report for the budget we’re still sitting in a good situation which is again why we were able to make a decision on [the internship program],” said Repen. “You never get too far ahead until we get the final numbers in at the end of the year but we do have some challenges with the heating system for sure and we’re looking at that very closely as we come into the new year.”
The Village has projected surplus of $116,000 for the year.