Council Notes: Nakusp council refuses Hydro’s refusal

Council began with an early bang on Nov. 13, with the meeting starting at 4 p.m. in order to accommodate the Village Financial Open House.

  • Nov. 26, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Council began with an early bang on Nov. 13, with the meeting starting at 4 p.m. in order to accommodate the Village Financial Open House that evening.

NACFOR active

Councillor Tom Zeleznik started reports off with an update on NACFOR’s recent activity. Trees will be planted in the Slewiskin in 2014 once the sowing request has been granted. Road construction and logging contracts have been granted to Reitmeier Logging for Block four. More harvesting will be taking place in Slewiskin in late winter, and logging in Fosthall has already begun.

It’s a sign, thanks to the Trails Society

The new Jackrabbit trail up in the Wensley Creek Area now has new signs made by Lloyd Dennis, thanks to the Trails Society. Wulf Menses and Frances Swan put the species identification and trail direction signs up on October 31.

Upcoming tour of tourism

NADB’s Tourism Marketing Committee has set Jan. 29 and 30, 2013 as the dates for a Centre for Innovative and Entrepreneurial Leadership-led presentation and workshop. The presentation, “Seven Deadly Tourism Sins,” will be held at the auditorium, is open to the public. The following tourism workshop will be held for up to 30 people; if you are interested please contact the Chamber of Commerce.

BR+E underway

Vivien Berry is taking on co-ordinating the Business Retention and Expansion project, and a local community committee has met and begun work on the BRE.

“The goal is to better understand business assets, gaps and opportunities at

local and regional levels,” councillor Mueller wrote in her report.

Not a waste of time

Counc. Mueller said she would be bringing forward scheduling a regular pickup of hazardous waste to the RDCK Resource Recovery Committee.

Councillor Guy Duchaine brought up the upcoming Celebration of Lights on November 24 will be a full day of celebration that will include the light up parade on Broadway, pictures with Santa, wagon rides, street hockey, dancing and more. For more information call the Nakusp Visitor’s Centre 250-265-4234.

Fair for seniors

The Village council voted to support the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s request for funding to help host a 2013 Seniors’ Resource Fair in Nakusp. The last event was well-attended with over 170 attendees.

Don’t drink and drive, get home alive after hockey tournament

Council also approved a beer garden for the Arena at the Falcon Cup Tournament, as long as all legal and insurance requirements are met, and  “Game Plan – A Safe Ride Home” is implemented. All funds raised from the beer garden will go to Nakusp Minor Hockey. The Game Plan Program is to encourage designated drivers and alternate transportation by minimally posting informational material near the serving area and by making an announcement.

Hydro says ‘no’ to breakwater in Nakusp

When the Columbia Power Corporation took the Nakusp residents’ request to BC Hydro for a breakwater to be built as part of the constructions of the new wharf, they were told “no,” Mayor Hamling told the gallery.

“Every other wharf that BC Hydro’s been ordered by the Comptroller to put in, they have also been putting in at least two sometimes three breakwaters, and they’re refusing to replace the breakwater here,” she said. “I feel very strongly whether it’s replaced now or in the future that BC Hydro should be responsible.”

The mayor made the point that without a breakwater, the unprotected marina will quickly be “trashed.” The letter to be sent will request that the construction of the breakwater not delay work on the wharf, which has already been in the works for a very long time already.

Treatment plant update

Since the Village and Delterra Engineering parted ways, the Village has been looking for a new firm to complete the project.

“Earlier in the fall, the Village terminated its Engineering Contract with Delterra Engineering Ltd. as it is believed that the projects [water treatment plant, sewer treatment plant and Well 2] were not being effectively managed and council/staff were not receiving timely information regarding the status/budget of the projects,” the CAO’s report to mayor and council stated.

Since the termination, Simon Bamber has been overseeing the management of the projects, and working with the Village staff to determine the status of the sewer treatment plant (STP).

“There has been added complexity as some of the process design work has not been completed – and Engineering firms have been reluctant to take on a project which is partially designed without doing a full scale review of engineering done to date,” the CAO’s report explained. “It has taken some time to navigate through the material provided to the Village from Delterra Engineering and to put forward a proposal.”

“This has been a very complex process,” said Tynan at the council meeting, “there were a lot of loose ends.”

In order to complete the project, an engineering consultant who specializes in waste water technology must be hired, the report also stated.

Two out of three engineering firms which were approached by the Village came back with estimates that were “extraordinarily high,” according to the CAO, so other alternatives were explored.

Three possibilities came out of that exploration: to buy a different type of plant, to finish the plant that the Village did purchase with Engineered Financial Solutions, based out of New Brunswick, or to work with Nelson’s Aqua Diversities Inc. and 9-dot Engineering to finish the project.

Tynan said the impression that the Nelson company made on staff was positive, and that their references were very complimentary.

“They’re local they’re qualified, they’re experienced,” contributed project manager Simon Bamber, who agreed with Tynan that they were new enough as a company to want to impress but experienced enough as individuals to be able to do the job.

“They’re very interested that we’ve got the reclaimed water portion, they want this to be a success,” the CAO told council, who voted in favour of engaging the Nelson company for engineering and installation services.

The money part

It will take about $275,000 to complete the waste water project, due in part to what the CAO characterized as “chronic underestimating” by the engineer earlier in the project.

We didn’t know what we didn’t know,” said Tynan, who also attributed part of the overrun to costs that the Village was unaware of.

The over-expenditure would have been the virtually same, whether or not there had been a change in engineers, she pointed out: “This project would have been this much over had we carried on with the same engineer or not.”

In order to get the project completed, funds will have to be borrowed to pay the $275,000 bill. The CAO’s report recommended that the balance of the 2012 Sewer Reserve Fund ($101,938) be used, and the remainder of the balance borrowed.

“These are the things reserves are made for – to deal with unexpected expenses – as well as long-term planning for dealing with aging infrastructure,” Tynan said, while noting the Village had been trying hard to build its reserves.

Council voted to borrow the money internally from the water reserve fund until the STP is finished, at which point the costs for the project will then be examined and a report provided about financing options.

The completion date for the project is end of March 2013.