Kaslo Council, July 14: SS Moyie repairs explained to council

·4 min read


Kootenay Lake Historical Society President Gillian Froese appeared before council to drum up support for the upcoming maintenance and renovation project for the SS Moyie National Historic Site.

KLHS has applied for over $600,000 for a two-year project to rehabilitate the weather envelope on the historic paddlewheeler. They were asking for a $10,000 Community Development grant from the Village. That would go along with the almost $200,000 they’ve applied for or received from the Columbia Basin Trust, provincial CERIP fund and the federal Parks department (the Moyie is a National Historic Site).

The weather envelope, made of canvas and covering the roof and deck, was last replaced 30 years ago, and since then numerous patches and repairs have left the canvas leaking and the structure in danger of rot.

“This project is essential for the future of the Moyie structurally and historically, and to its accessibility and presentation,” the brief to council read. “These, in turn, are key to the site’s continuing positive community impacts.”

Work would begin this August and continue into next year.

Council decided to discuss and vote on support for the project at the July 27 meeting.

Kaslo Baseball gets to first base on grants

A visit from the Kaslo Baseball Association in June led to some support for the organization this month. The association has some big plans for more improvements to the diamond, and asked council for support in applying for funds. At this meeting, council voted to give the group $5,000 from the Community Development Fund and $5,000 from the Recreation, Parks and Open Space reserve fund towards the project. The money – along with an additional $5,000 expected from the KBA – will see surfacing upgrades for the Murray Pearson Ball Field taking place this fall or the spring.

Council tweaks admin structure

Council gave first three readings to a new bylaw that will allow greater flexibility and delegation of authority in the Village government.

Right now, Chief Administrative Officer Ian Dunlop is the sole management/exempt employee of the Village and has the titles Corporate Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Approving Officer and Chief Elections Officer.

The current bylaw doesn’t allow council to delegate any of these officer powers to anyone but the CAO. The new bylaw will allow this.

CAO Ian Dunlop explained that the Village has hired additional staff capacity under short‐term contract, and “it is prudent to assign the Corporate Officer role to this person so that the CAO can focus more on achieving Council’s other strategic priorities.” Those include several major infrastructure projects, community development initiatives and the OCP review.

The bylaw is expected to be formally adopted at the July 27 meeting.

Clean up Aerodrome roads

The Village is cleaning up legal irregularities on Kaslo West Road around the Kaslo Aerodrome to aid in the ongoing development of the municipal facility.

The Village has been working on upgrading the nearly century-old airstrip, but in researching the project, found that sections of perimeter fencing and portions of a hangar structure are located within the road allowance.

It also found just the opposite – portions of the road are not on the road allowance, but are on municipal land.

Cleaning this up involves passing two bylaws. However, closing or creating a road triggers a requirement for public notification prior to adoption of the bylaw. Because the subject lands are located near an arterial highway, approval from the Ministry of Transportation is also required. The Village will be conducting a legal survey of the area in order to apply for the road closure (and designation) up the government chain.

The bylaw to allow the closure was given first and second readings. Final adoption will take place after public consultation and referral.

Changing the COVID plan

Council’s COVID Reopening Plan was adopted earlier this year, outlining how the Village’s services and activities would adapt to changing and easing restrictions as the pandemic wanes. The rules govern everything from the operation of public washrooms to how staff interact with the public in the office.

One slight problem has cropped up: the plan does not allow for group camping at the municipally owned campground, though provincial restrictions don’t preclude them.

That had the manager of the campground, Patricia Bennett, asking council to tweak the rule to allow group camping.

“Now that almost all restrictions are being lifted I have two groups waiting for an answer,” she wrote to administration asking for the change. “The cross-country ski group and the valley riders. Both groups have been coming for years with the exception of last year.”

Council approved the Kaslo COVID-19 Safety Plan amendment to allow group camping.

Health concerns

Council will meet with the Minister of Health at the Union of BC Municipalities convention this fall to discuss long-term care beds for the Victorian Community Health Centre, and the issue of patients having to travel for care. Council would like to see reliable, affordable transportation, and adequate emergency response staff in local health care facilities.

• A report on the characteristics of the effluent from Kaslo’s wastewater treatment plant concludes that the effluent quality is high, and there is a low risk of the discharge impacting the lake.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

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