Your new council was sworn in on Dec. 5; Councillors Tom Zeleznik and Guy Duchaine join Councillors Ulli Mueller, Joseph Hughes and I at the council table and we are looking forward to working together. The community has a lot of challenges ahead of it over the next few years and I know that we can meet them by everyone working together and putting our energy into making this community an even better place to live.
The first move in this direction is the Nakusp Arrow Lakes Economic Summit meeting scheduled for Feb. 7 at the Nakusp and Arrow Lakes Community Complex. This is your opportunity to hear the results of the public meetings held over the past year and to be a part of the decision making on what is important and how we move forward. The Chamber of Commerce and The Nakusp and Area Development Board (with the support of the Village of Nakusp and Area K Director) are sponsoring this event. A lot of work has been put into bringing the process to this point, and your input is crucial. Let’s get out there and attend and be part of the solution.
I am once again the municipal director for Nakusp on the Regional District of Central Kootenay board. I have also been appointed to sit as the vice-chair on the Columbia Basin Trust Local Government Committee (CBTLG). This committee’s purpose is to bring information to basin residents about the treaty. Notification must be given by either side by 2014 if they wish to terminate the treaty, even though the actual treaty does not expire until 2024. The CBTLG committee, with CBT staff, is touring the basin to ensure that residents have the treaty information and think about what we would like to see negotiated for the basin residents. The committee will then present the information to the government. Our community’s information session was held in November of last year.
Physician recruitment is high on council’s priority list and to that end I have attended the Rural Emergency Medicine Summit in Kelowna to address potential doctors; I met with Shelley Wilson, the physician recruitment coordinator for Interior Health and am supporting Dr. Lea in funding applications for emergency department access and recruitment. We have been successful in obtaining Dr. Sayed Subzwari, an International Medical Grad, who will be moving to Nakusp in July.
Dr. Lea is to be commended for his endless hours of bringing in locums to cover the office hours and the emergency department; not to mention the incredible amount of coverage that he provides to the community to keep our emergency department open. A huge amount of gratitude goes out to him and to his wife Patty.
Dr. Avery visited the community on April 11, reviewed our situation and filed a report with Interior Health with recommendations. Interior Health will pass the report onto us when they have reviewed it. Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later.
Changes are afoot with BC Ambulance, and Mayor Lawrence Chernoff and area director Larry Binks have been working hard to bring about some positive changes. BC Ambulance will be attempting to identify staff to train in each community and the training will be paid by BC Ambulance. This is something we have been requesting for a long time. BC Ambulance has also improved the helicopter service and this is huge for communities like Nakusp and area. There are openings in the Nakusp Ambulance Service if you are interested in training and working in this area.
Council met with BC Hydro last fall and they announced that the new wharf would be delayed due to high water levels. We have asked them to go back to the drawing board as this is the third year the building of the new wharf has been delayed due to high water levels. They agreed to review the plans and we expect to meet with them again in the next couple of months.
It’s great to see the bulletin board back on Broadway. Thanks to everyone for all your time and effort into this project.
2012 is Nakusp’s 120th birthday and we are planning a celebration. Council approved setting up a committee to work towards the celebration. We will be setting a meeting date later this month. If you are interested in being part of the team that makes it happen, leave a message or call me at the Village Office or send an e-mail. The plan is to hold the celebration during the July 1 weekend and if people take on one small part, it can work into a terrific weekend for everyone.