New Denver council, Nov. 8: Committee to look into assisted living for New Denver-Silverton

A four-person committee is going to look into an assisted living facility for New Denver-Silverton.

Jamie Barber, a long-time community member, made a presentation to council about his interest in taking the lead on developing such a facility in New Denver. He explained that assisted living is supportive housing which fills a need for seniors between what Brouse Lodge (independent living) and the Pavilion (24-hour care) currently offer. It provides seniors with independence, but also care if needed. He said assisted living can be privately or publicly funded.

Barber said that with support from council, he would form a four-person committee to start working on this. He will make a similar presentation at Silverton council. All councillors expressed interest in this initiative, and the Village will provide him with a letter of support.

Fireweed Hub gets development permit

The renovation of the former Rory’s Restaurant building (305 6th Avenue) to become the new Fireweed Hub with commercial kitchen, shared work space and community venue is one step closer to reality. Council agreed to issue a development permit for the renovation.

This is a project of the Silverton Co-Work Society, which received a large provincial grant last year to establish a community kitchen and co-work space. The society has secured a lease with the building owner and has applied for a building permit.

The building is on New Denver’s main street, which is in the Core Commercial Development Permit Area (DPA). New Denver’s OCP (official community plan) requires that development in the DPA fits in with the heritage feel of downtown.

A report by Jessica Rayner, community planner, explains that the society proposes changes to the sides and rear of the building, not the front. She says the proposed changes are consistent with the existing design and character of the building.

Now that the society has the development permit, they just need the building permit to begin renovations.

Proposed provincial riding change

Council will write to the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission to ask them to reconsider their proposal and keep the entire Slocan Valley in the same riding.

A report from CAO Lisa Scott explains that the commission’s preliminary report, released October 3, recommends splitting the Slocan Valley into two different ridings. The valley south of Silverton would be in the Kootenay West riding, while the New Denver and Silverton area would be in the new Kootenay Central riding with Nelson and Creston.

Scott points out that the Slocan Valley shares services such as the Slocan Community Health Centre, the Slocan Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission. “It does not make sense to draw the electoral boundary between these communities that share so much,” she said.

New Denver will make a submission to the commission, and will invite the Villages of Silverton, Slocan, Nakusp and RDCK Areas H and K to collaborate on a joint effort to oppose the proposed electoral boundary changes.

Reserve fund for NIMC

Council agreed to establish a reserve fund for the preservation, maintenance and restoration of the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre. The money set aside in the fund will come from NIMC operations and donations, will be deposited in a separate bank account and will be used solely for the Nikkei Centre. Bylaw 745, 2022, the bylaw to establish the reserve fund, received first three readings. Adoption of the bylaw is expected at the next regular meeting.

Bear-proof bin

Carol Bell, Silverton resident, asked council to place a bear-proof garbage bin at the pull-out between Silverton and New Denver. She included photos of piles of garbage strewn down the hill and at the lakeside. She said the bin might “deter people from leaving such an unsightly/unhygienic mess and bear attractants” in that area.

Staff will respond to Bell, and will discuss this with Silverton and Area H. Council also suggested that this matter be included in New Denver’s Solid Waste Study.

Alcohol at Knox Hall

New Market Foods was given permission to serve alcohol at Knox Hall on November 18 for a staff retirement party. Under the Knox Hall Rental Policy, alcohol is not permitted unless council approves it. Mayor Leonard Casley recused himself due to a potential conflict of interest.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice