As it approaches its 20th anniversary, the Columbia Basin Trust is enjoying another year of strong support for, and from, the people of the Columbia Basin.
“Our main emphasis over the year involved engaging with residents to ask what’s important to them and how the Trust should focus its efforts,” CBT Chairman Greg Deck said in his inroduction to the organization’s Annual Service Plan Report. “Between September 2014 and February 2015, we connected with 3,000 residents and received over 17,000 thoughts. We are now honing in on measurable, achievable priorities and action plans, and expect to finalize new strategic priorities this fall.
“Of our performance measures, we met our targets regarding how we are perceived by Basin residents and Trust partners, plus the maturity of our planning and risk management practices. We varied from our target for corporate operations due to lower staff expenses. Our private placements came in below target due to continuing low interest rates and a decrease in value of a commercial investment. Our market securities were above target. Our power projects are consistently above target; although this is an excellent outcome, we will need to review this measure to bring it in line with results.”
The report also noted that the CBT delivered nearly $22 million in programs and services to communities and residents, $17 million in new loans to Basin businesses and earned revenues of over $29 million. Please click here to see the CBT’s financial statement.
The Trust works to strengthen the region’s social, economic and environmental well-being and in 2014/15, its activities included establishing a new resource to support sports and physical activity, helping Junior Achievement expand into the Basin so youth can learn about entrepreneurship, renewing the Trust’s Social Strategic Plan and continuing to create a regional open-access broadband network.
The main way the Trust supports these activities is by investing in power projects. All power projects performed well over the year, and brought in revenues of over $22 million (out of total revenues of $29 million). In spring 2015 Waneta Expansion began operating, which will positively impact future revenues. The Trust also invests in market securities (stocks and bonds) and local real estate, and provides loans to Basin-based businesses.
“Because of the strong performance of our investments, our revenues were higher than anticipated, which means we were able to offer more programs and services to Basin residents,” Neil Muth, the CBT’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “Moving into the future, we look forward to having even greater impact on well-being in the region.”
Read more about the Trust’s performance in its 2014/15 Annual Service Plan Report at cbt.org/annualreport. For stories and photos of some of the projects it has supported, look for the magazine Your Trust (formerly Report to Residents) in your mailbox this fall.
Columbia Basin Trust supports efforts to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, visit cbt.org or call 1-800-505-8998.