Community planning project takes new route

The DOI has new funding for Imagine Invermere 2030, and is offering to split $15,000 among community groups with similar interests

The District of Invermere has new funding for Imagine Invermere 2030, and is offering to split $15,000 among community groups with similar interests.

During the Imagine Invermere info session at Pynelogs Cultural Centre on the evening of Thursday, November 7th, Mayor Gerry Taft announced the new funding formula, claiming that the district is now taking a “bottom-up approach, rather than a top-down.”

And while the District of Invermere continues to put forth its best effort to execute Imagine Invermere 2030 — formerly called the  Integrated Community Sustainability Plan — Mr. Taft said that limited district staff and resources made it difficult to achieve.

“Most ideas that were brainstormed were falling back to the district to complete,” he said. “We started working on some but realized going forward that it wasn’t going to be sustainable.”

The well-attended info session was hosted by councillors and Imagine Invermere board members Paul Denchuk and Spring Hawes. Special presentations were made by groups already benefiting from the plan — one from the community greenhouse and another from a recycler of wood by-products.

In addition to the $15,000 support for the plan, the district has budgeted money for networking, advertising, and some flexibility for the Imagine Invermere team, Mr. Taft said.

Funding will be directed through the board of directors, which currently has several openings. The members prioritize, in no particular order, four main communal benefits: protecting the environment, ensuring economic viability, enriching community life, and partnering for success.

“We already have a great start with who we have now, but to fill the vacancies, and the vacancies we may have in the future, it would be good to see a cross-section of the community, so that it’s not just people coming from one sector,” said Mr. Taft.

Imagine Invermere 2030 is a planning document which aims to increase community sustainability through setting measurable goals and a realistic formula towards sustainability. Mr. Taft said that the plan is based on ideas rather than specific operations.

“Official community plans can be quite detailed, whereas the purpose of this plan is a lot more conceptual,” he said.