I am pleased to be able to provide a Mayor’s report to bring you up to speed on council’s activities.
Firstly, on behalf of Nakusp Village Council, we wish you a happy New Year and thank you for all that you do for our community as well as the feedback that you provide us. So many of you provide thousands of volunteer hours to make our community the wonderful place that it is and we appreciate your time and efforts.
A quick look back at 2013 brings to mind some of the accomplishments staff and council have to celebrate.
These include the completion of the Kuskanax Creek Footbridge, purchase of the Cedar Chalets, $4,000 worth of trees provided by BC Hydro planted on the beach, waterfront and park.
The sewer plant lagoon cover was put in place with 100 per cent grant funding. The lagoon cover is a new technology that will mitigate algae growth and limit odours. The sewer treatment plant construction is complete as is Well #2 (which is a back up water supply for the Village). The water treatment plant is complete and is in the final stages of review for the IHA permit to operate.
The Micro hydro power plant has been commissioned just this week and we are looking at receiving revenue through a metering agreement with BC Hydro.
Here are a few other project highlights:
•Phase one repairs to the ice plant at the arena have been completed.
•A sprinkler protection unit trailer was purchased for use in case of wildfire.
•Heritage plaques were placed on buildings with more to come in 2014 as well as a walking map.
•We were fortunate to have the Arrow Lakes Arts Council commission a sculpture from Toru Fujibayashi and donate it to the Village. It graces our waterfront walk and is called Deepening Peace.
We are in the midst of budget discussions and additional capital projects will be considered in conjunction with council’s three-year priority plan. Items that we will be considering during budget time are the replacement of the roof at the Nakusp Hot Springs and the Cedar Chalets and phase two of the ice plant upgrades along with the heat recovery system. We are grateful to Director Peterson who has directed some of his gas tax funding towards the heat recovery system.
Council is exploring participation with the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation program to improve connectivity into the Village as well as a redevelopment of our website.
We should have a decision on the old fire hall in the next few months and will be working with the Chamber of Commerce and the Nakusp and Area Development Board on a marketing plan.
We will be holding an open house at the Emergency Services Building on Feb. 5 to discuss the financial plan and receive your input. We will be concentrating on completing projects and building our reserves. Last year, we had a good turn out with a lot of information provided and good feedback received. I hope that you will take the time to attend and be part of the decision-making process. We value your input. In the true Kootenay tradition, we will have coffee and goodies available.
We look forward to the completion of the new ferry, the wharf and breakwater. BC Hydro has informed us that they will be on the wharf site around the middle of January to set up for completion of the wharf. They are expecting low water at the end of January.
I have been told that the floating walk way will receive some changes. It has had many upgrades and has remained a tripping hazard. The cables will be relocated and the gangway will be moved to the side. In other words, they will be switching the position of the cables and the floating walkway so that users will not have to deal with the cables.
Unfortunately, the floating walk way is not floating and is hung up on one of the cement anchors. The anchor will be moved out further so this will not be an issue in the future. It was not possible to get the anchor out far enough in the initial phase because of the water level.
I have asked, and am still requesting, BC Hydro to meet with the users to discuss their concerns with the walkway and access. There is a general concern that BC Hydro is trying to complete the project as cheaply as possible and that we are not being heard. A meeting with the community would go a long way to working towards understanding and solutions. Throughout the whole process, I have been taking photos and relaying them to show our concerns. Council and staff have written many letters and placed many telephone calls to try and rectify the situation.
We have been corresponding with the Comptroller of Water Rights regarding the breakwater as well as our concern for year round access. We have not been too successful at this time but we will keep working on it.
On behalf of Council and staff, it is an honour to serve you and we are looking forward to a productive 2014.