‘Tis the season to think about snow and celebrations

Nakusp mayor Karen Hamling brings the latest news in her Mayor's Report.

The Village held an open house to show where our tax dollars go and receive feedback on the budget. Our staff did a tremendous job and we received positive feedback. A great big thank-you to those who took the time to attend.

We learned a one per cent increase in taxes is equal to $8,200 in operating revenue. This equals approximately one of the following: paving 35 metres of secondary rural road (eight meters wide); replacing 41 meters of water or sewer main (with no connections); replacing 25 meters of concrete sidewalk; maintaining the sports fields for one season; hydro at the Arena for one month during the winter; running the Zamboni for a season; chlorine for about eight months at the hot springs.

Dr. Lea and I had a teleconference with Dr. Alan Stewart, Senior Medical Director of Community and Residential Services for IHA. It was a good meeting where we were able to voice our concerns and receive assurances that the Arrow Lakes Hospital and our medical staff will receive the support needed.

Some of the concerns brought forward were the need for a designated respite bed, diabetic clinics and public education (we used to have diabetic clinics in the past). Another issue that we would like addressed is the need for more home care. We have an older population than the rest of the IHA and so need to ensure we have adequate staffing of permanent home care nurses. Currently, staff come in from Nelson to assist and although they are doing a great job, we need to have more permanent staff – the travelling time is a waste of resources.

We heard at the last West Kootenay Boundary Regional Health Board meeting that funding has been put in place to draw up plans to redesign the emergency department at the Arrow Lakes Hospital. The hospital was built in 1974 and is in desperate need of an emergency department overhaul.

Council and I met with Premier Christy Clark and Minister Pat Bell at UBCM. As a result, the CAO and I have had several phone calls with various staff members within the Ministry of Tourism and Economic Development concerning options to bring in key Overseas Trade and Market representatives to help us move toward some sort of development at the Nakusp Hot Springs. We have had discussions with the Assistant Deputy Minister of Economic Development and there are plans for ministry staff to come to Nakusp in January 2013 to work with us. We have had a lot of job losses and loss of young families over the past five years and your council is looking at ways to bring jobs to Nakusp.

Ted Crouch, Ministry of Social Development, Employment and Labour Market Services Division came to Nakusp and we met to discuss employment opportunities and labour market strategies. His department can facilitate work experience we as well as helping the community to put together a Community Employment Plan and marketing plan.

The community has another opportunity to attend a public meeting on the Columbia River Treaty. This is the third community meeting hosted by the CRT Local Government Committee. The Provincial Government team will introduce the studies that have been completed as well as provide feedback to the community on the questions asked at the last CRT meetings. The Nakusp meetings will be held at the Nakusp Arena Auditorium on Nov. 29.  There are also webinars taking place and you can either go on the government website or the CBT website to get more information. Make sure you attend and have your voice heard.

It’s that time again when some of us look forward to the snow to do whatever winter sport that we enjoy. Then there are those of us who hope the snow holds off for as long as possible and that it is a light snow year.

Whatever your wishes are, our staff are preparing for snow clearing. Please help by not parking on the street overnight and keep our sidewalks safe and clear of snow in front of your residence and businesses.

It is also that time of year when a lot of people head out of town to do their shopping for the season  Our local businesses have had a rough year and need your support. Take a look and purchase what you can in town before you make that trip out of town.

Approximately 65 cents of every dollar spent in town stays in town and gets re-circulated, keeps businesses open and provides jobs. Approximately 57 cents of every dollar spent out of town goes to corporations all over the world. For more information on why it is important to shop local, check out the tenpercentshift.ca website. You might be amazed at the information you find about shopping local.

Dawn Devlin, president of the Chamber of Commerce has been working hard- with a group of local volunteers to put on a Christmas celebration on Nov. 24.

There will be special shopping opportunities downtown during the day followed by the Christmas Parade and then a fun evening at the gazebo and the park. Not only will you be able to have dinner at the park, you can also enter the snow boot shuffle and there will be a street dance and street hockey.

There will be a lighting event at the park after the parade. Check out the posters around town for more information on the Nakusp Celebration of Lights event.

Hope to see you there.