Trail City Council was asked to consider providing an extra roughly $31,000 in support for economic development initiatives in the area.

The Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation undertook the Metal Tech Alley initiative and are asking for a total increase of $75,000 in core funding and a two year contract extension after December 2020.

Although the LCIC recently received $1-million in grant funding through the Rural Dividend program, Executive Director Terry Van Horn explains it doesn’t cover all their costs.

“There are great opportunities for grant money, but most of the grant money that we get does not cover core funding, and unless we have the core funding to support the staff to undertake the project money that we’re asking for, then we don’t have the capacity to undertake more project work,” she explained.

Staffing and marketing resources are what she hopes to see the increase going towards.

“It’s not enough to do marketing strategies with free resources like social media,” said Van Horn. “There is a necessity to pay for marketing and we’re hoping that that can be a stability for our organization to have an additional staff and additional marketing dollars to actually undertake some of the strategies we want to do moving forward,”

Trail city staff recommended deferring a decision until the review and approval of the 2020 budget. The Columbia Basin Trust and Regional District of Central Kootenay also contribute funding to the LCIC and would make up the other portions of the $75,000 ask.

The LCIC is currently working on a supply chain inventory. That means creating opportunities for business development and new products with industry by-products. The goal is also to ensure the stability and strength of the Metal Tech Alley brand without depending on grant funding.