This has been a busy summer with a lot of things happening. It’s great to see the ALFA Guild Art Walk in place and the farmer’s market in full swing on Saturdays. Congratulations and a huge thank-you to the organizers of the August long weekend ball tournament and the Medieval Festival. The town was busy and your events provided entertainment for anyone who wanted something to do.
Unfortunately, our beach area has been less than welcoming with the logs and the small diving warf out of the water. If we had any idea that the water was going to get this low, we could have made arrangements to move everything. At the time of this article, the water level is at 1410 feet and will be ending up at 1400 by the end of August. Normally our water level would be around 1435-1444. BC Hydro has said that they kept the water as high as they could before having to lower it for the requirements of the treaty. We still need to have a lot of discussion on the need for more stable water levels and the use of non-treaty storage water. Currently, there is a study taking place on the topic of water levels and the Arrow Lakes Reservoir. The government has ordered the study after receiving feedback from the community meetings on the Columbia River Treaty.
The provincial government has issued an information bulletin on water conservation for the Kootenay Columbia region. We are now a Level 3 drought condition and the province is calling for a voluntary water-use reduction of an additional 20 per cent beyond Level 2 — which brings us to a 30 per cent drop in useage. Ministry staff is closely monitoring river levels and ecosystems and is very concerned with the reduction in streams, lakes and aquifer levels which are dangerously low. If it continues, and a Level 4 is put in place, the water managers may exercise their authority to temporarily suspend short-term water permits or industrial water licences in affected watersheds. Concern is that we will have a water shortage this winter. The village is monitoring our water supply and we encourage people to follow the provincial government’s request to cut water usage.
Please think of the low water levels and don’t wash your cars or houses, sidewalks etc. We need to ensure we have water for domestic needs. No one wants to be without drinking water.
On a more positive note, The Village of Nakusp was successful in obtaining a Build Canada grant to get the funding for a pressure reducing valve which will be in place by the spring. This will alleviate the issues with the Sleepy Hollow area and the breaking of pipes and loss of water.
The village will pay one third with the province and the federal government each putting in one third of the cost, around $86,666 each. A wonderful savings for the water users.
In June, the Director of Operations and I took the Grade 2 and 2/3 classes on a field trip to view the water treatment plant, the waste water treatment plant (sewer) and the micro hydro plant. Several parents were present and suggested we offer this tour to residents so that they could see how all of this operates and the time put into these services for our village. We think this is a good idea and will be offering tours on Aug. 26 — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. If you are interested, please call the village office 250-265-3689 to register.
Another piece of good news is that the requests for quotes have gone out for the building of four cable ferries. Council is excited about this and we wish Waterbridge Steel the best of luck in the process. If Waterbridge Steel is successful, this will provide several jobs for our locals.
A heads up that the Household Hazardous Waste roundup will be taking place September 26 at the Nakusp Arena parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get rid of toxic chemicals, pesticides, oils and cleaners safely. In Nakusp old electronics, small appliances and power tools will be accepted. No commercial or industrial waste will be accepted. Visit the RDCK website to get more information www.rdck.ca or call 1-800-268-7325.
In the middle of October, the recycling depot will be moved from the arena area to the landfill site. The residents of Nakusp can have their recycling picked up curbside every second Thursday, a service that has been offered over the past year. All recycling items are to be placed in the blue see-through bags and placed in the same area that your garbage pickup is placed. Cardboard does not need to be placed in the blue bags but must be broken down to a manageable size and secured. We will be working with the RDCK to provide a glass bin near the village office.
The village has installed barriers on the walking trail to prevent motorized access. This has prompted many residents to voice their displeasure suggesting it is an unnecessary and unwanted change. Although council understands the trail was popular with motorized users, safety and liability are of utmost importance, and therefore has determined that to ensure the safety of all users, it is necessary to restrict the trail to non-motorized use. Over the years, the trail has become increasingly busy with all users and conflict has escalated. Council will continue to explore the situation and determine the best long-term resolution. Issues include noise and dust complaints from residents along with specific incidents causing the safety and liability concerns. Council appreciates all the feedback that has been received, especially that which includes ideas and suggestion on how best to accommodate the needs of both motorized and non-motorized users of the trail network in Nakusp.
In the past week we had the BC Beemer’s (BMW motorcyclists) returning to Nakusp once again. They have been coming here for well over 10 years to enjoy our beautiful community. On Sunday, we saw 55 Camaros come to town and park in the beach area. They travelled in from Revelstoke for a few hours and many locals and tourists came out to take in the display and talk with the owners. We are certainly hoping that they will return again next year and stay a little longer.