It’s been a while since I have had the opportunity to provide a mayor’s report. Council has had a busy 18 months and a lot of issues havecome to the forefront. I am taking this opportunity to clear up a misconception within the community on how council can do business. Village council has twomain laws that we must take into consideration when making decisions for our community. We are bound by the Local Government Actand the Community Charter. These are important documents that ensure we act in a responsible and transparent manner. Our corporatestaff is trained in both of these acts and provide mayor and council with advice and recommendations to ensure we are following theproper procedures and laws.
As a municipality, we also have bylaws which are brought to council for consideration and our land use bylaws go to the public forcomment before we pass them. We also have the Official Community Plan (OCP), which was last completed in 2008 after 18 months ofpublic input. Several areas of the OCP have been reviewed over the past five years and we are in the process of reviewing other sections ofthe plan. Council members can and do ask for review of specific bylaws that may be seen as no longer applying or need changes. Untilthose changes are reviewed and brought to the public, we must not vote on a significant change. We must be fair in our application andenforcement of bylaws. We don’t get to decide we don’t like a bylaw and not to follow it.
Another misconception relates to building inspection. The BC Building Code is set by the province of BC and we contract with the RegionalDistrict of Central Kootenay for building inspection services.
The building inspector must follow the building code set out by the province and then approves applications that follow the code. If thereare areas where an inspection does not meet the standards, the applicant will be given a deficiency list to comply with before approvalsare given. The village reviews it to ensure it falls within our bylaws and refers it back to the inspector. The mayor and council do notreceive or review these applications. We do, however receive applications when a variance has been requested and then the public, withinthe specified area is also asked for comment.
You will be receiving your tax notices shortly. Taxes were increased by five per cent this year in order to maintain the services we provide.There are no frills in this budget. We have had very small increases over the past several years and our reserves need replenishing. Anaverage house assessed at $190,000 will pay $40.49 more per year or $3.37/month. We don’t take raising our taxes lightly. We have hadto use most of our reserves for our water and sewer and now need to build them up again.
Congratulations to councillor Ulli Mueller who received the Community Futures Volunteer of the Year award. Councillor Mueller has servedon the loans committee with Community Futures for 11 years. She is retiring from the committee this year.
We were fortunate to receive $350,000 from the CBT recreation grant to fix the arena roof. A project that will cost $584,000. We retainedan architect and an engineer to review and draw up the plans to ensure successful completion of the project.
The students at Nakusp Secondary School also deserve our congratulations. Two groups did very well in the Junior Dragon’s Dencompetition in the East and West Kootenay: Easy Light group won their category in the Grade 10-12 competition and the Fishing Flasherswon 3rd place in their category. Well done!
This past weekend was a busy one for Nakusp with Sufferfest cycling races throughout the weekend and The Mirror Theater play “TrueLove — The Story of the Princess Bride. The Okanagan Nation Alliance Unity Run was another event which started at Nancy GreenProvincial Park on Thursday and went through Kaslo, Silverton, New Denver and into Nakusp. Eight nations took place with a total of 125participants. Ninety were children and the ages of the participants ranged from two years to 70. They were running to raise awareness ofviolence against women and youth suicide and violence. Between these events and the events from the past few weekends of soccer andthe Art Party, and the work to bring the caboose and snowplow to Nakusp, this community has been very busy and a lot of volunteer timehas been put into making all these events successful. Once again, I commend the community and all our volunteers for all that they do inmaking our community a great place to live.
CBT has been sponsoring a series of meetings that community members and council have been attending for over the past year and ahalf, trying to find a direction for Nakusp taking into consideration our economic, social and cultural opportunities. This has been a longprocess with a lot of commitment by CBT and the community. For one of the projects, we have a consultant coming in to work with thecommunity to review our downtown area. There will be meetings throughout the community to discuss what we can do to revitalize thedowntown.