RDKB News Release: Rock Creek Property gets green light for Food Hub





Rock Creek Property Gets Green Light for Food Hub 

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has received approval from the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for non-farm use for the development of a commercial food processing facility on about one acre of a nine-acre parcel owned by the RDKB outside of Rock Creek. Non-farm use approval is required when more than 50% of product processed on the parcel is not produced on the parcel. 

The RDKB applied for grants for development of the Boundary Food Hub, the biggest source of funding coming from the Feed BC/BC Food Hub Network:  https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/growbc-feedbc-buybc/bc-food-hub-network   Altogether, the RDKB has received $1.5 million in grants.  The non-profit Boundary Community Ventures Association (BCVA) was formed to create the Food Hub under the oversight of the RDKB, who are responsible for the grants.  Independently, BCVA has acquired $50,000 for the Food Hub and a further $161,720 toward feasibility & planning of future projects.

The cost to acquire the $300,000 parcel was included in the RDKB’s 2021 5-Year Financial Plan, but the purchase did not close until March 2022.  Financing was done through the Area E Economic Development Service through short-term borrowing from the Municipal Finance Authority, to be repaid over five years.  The Municipal Finance Authority enables local governments in BC to undertake short- and long-term borrowing.  

The decision to purchase the parcel came after the original plan to situate the food processing facility on the Riverside Centre property fell through.  A search was undertaken for land in Greenwood, Midway and Area E.  The parcel purchased offered the best value in terms of parcel size, possibility of future farming activities and proximity to abattoirs in the Rock Creek area for the meat processing part of the facility.

The next steps in the development of the Food Hub will see the RDKB and BCVA enter into a ground lease agreement which will govern roles and responsibilities for each party for site development and construction and management of facilities.  The BCVA will then begin development of the facility.

“In our ongoing efforts to move toward food security, job creation, and the ability to process products locally, the RDKB is pleased to have provided the opportunity for this much-needed facility in the Boundary area,” said Linda Worley, Chair of the RDKB Board. “With the generous grant funding from the Province and through the hard work and perseverance of the BCVA, we thank everyone who is making this project a reality.”

Grace McGregor, Vice-Chair of the RDKB and President of BCVA commented: “This is so exciting. We should all be doing our part to help local food producers.  I am so pleased that the provincial government and the RDKB understand the need.”