Notes from March 11 Village of Nakusp council meeting

Debris, doctor, ferry, and water rates all made an appearance at the March 11 Village of Nakusp council meeting.

Fosthall Power wanted here

Darcy Fear, Vice President of Fosthall Power Co. Ltd. offered to come speak to council and staff any time after March 2 about the proposed amendment to the routing of the power line.

Originally, the line from Fosthall Creek was to run south along the west side of Saddle Mountain Road, across the Arrow Lake below the water and resurface, hooking into the substation on Highway 6. An amendment to the plan would bypass Nakusp altogether.

“The additional power from Fosthall Creek would stabilize the power outages that happen frequently from Nakusp to New Denver. All communities from Nakusp to New Denver would benefit from the original plan,” stated a letter sent from the Village to Front Counter BC.

Councillor Tom Zeleznik stated he would like to have Fear come speak, and all other councillors agreed.

DV Galena here for two years

Mayor Karen Hamling confirmed with Waterbridge Steel, the company that is building the new ferry and has taken over operations of the local ferries, that the DV Galena will remain on site for at least two years, as backup to the new ferry.

“We’ll have to wait until the new ferry is built and see what happens,” said Hamling, who said there has be concern over only having one ferry in operation, particularly during the busy summer months.

Nakusp doctor a priority

As has been noted in the news recently, Nakusp has been posted as one of five priority  communities with the Interior Health Authority for physician recruitment. The mayor’s report noted that there has been some interest shown in advertisements about practicing medicine in Nakusp.

Debris clean up levels high

Over $200,000 has been spent by BC Hydro cleaning up debris after last year’s high water.

“A lot of debris cannot be reached because of the steep terrain, debris on privately owned property and areas where there are environmental concerns and plantings (riparian areas),” the mayor’s report stated. Hamling and Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff have been working with BC Hydro on debris, and a proposal has been submitted for funding for the next five years. The proposal asks for $50,000 per year to be allotted for cleaning up debris.

CBT represents

Ramona Faust and Karen Hamling were appointed to the Columbia Basin Trust Local Governments’ Committee. It’s really important to have someone from the affected areas on the committee, remarked Hamling at the council meeting.

The CBT Community Initiatives and Affected Area Funding Vote will take place Sunday, April 14 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Nakusp Arena auditorium.

NADB news

The Nakusp and Area Development Board is looking for a new web developer to finish the business directory as the previous contractor has been unable to complete the work. In other news, work is progressing on the inspection of the old Firehall building, and there is a new Community Business Champion initiative afoot. The Champion, Susan DeSandoli, will field business and relocation inquiries by helping newcomers make local connections.

NACFOR news

Councillor Tom Zeleznik reported on NACFOR’s activities, which have seen a slowing as warmer weather has been making hauling difficult.

The Bioenergy Biomass meeting was held on Feb. 27, with lots of interest being shown from industry and local business groups, said Zeleznik. Kevin Weaver, Economic Development Manager from the City of Cranbrook, Bob Gray from Gray Consulting and Diana Brooks, Regional Manager for the Kootenay region from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training all presented at the meeting. At this point, a leader is needed to take the next steps forward, said Zeleznik.

Water water everywhere

Paddy Shack owners Richard and Bonnie Carson made an appeal to council about the change in their water and sewer rates, arguing that the increase to parity with sit-down restaurants was not fair. The Paddy Shack, a drive-in establishment, does not use the same amounts of water as there are no dishes being done or same number of restrooms.

In the end, it was voted that drive-in restaurants should pay 75 per cent of the amount that sit down restaurants do for sewer and water.

Angela Carson also appealed the rate for water being bottled and sold for a profit. Crystal Clear waters is charged the basic sewer and water rates that any business in Nakusp is subject to, as well as an additional $1,200 bottling fee for water. There is no additional sewer rate charged, as there is no production of significant grey water in the bottling process. The appeal for reconsideration of the rate was denied, in a close vote.

Marker denied

A request to put markers on a fence at the corner of 4th Street and 3rd Avenue was denied, as the fence is within the setback limits.

“It fits the setbacks, so there is no reason to mark private property,” said CAO Linda Tynan.

Play ball

The CAO was authorized to execute the  2013 Nakusp Sports Field Agreement with the Nakusp Slo-Pitch Association, which means there will be a ball league again this summer.

The NAYS have it

The Village of Nakusp has agreed to be named as a “Community Partner” of the Nakusp and Area Youth Society, and coun. Hughes will be council liaison with the society.