Kaslo council, March 23: Front Street Park washroom building goes to RFP

·4 min read

Work continues on planning the outbuildings and facilities for the new Front Street Park. Final plans were provided to council by designer Robert Inwood for the washroom structure. Plans for the performance stage were to be done by the end of March, after being reviewed by an architect and structural engineer. Building permits for both structures have been applied for. Village staff have issued the request for proposals for construction of the washroom building, with a closing date of April 6.

Council received and forwarded the plans to the Front Street Park Design Committee, and council will take one last look at the plans – and approve the recommendations for contractors – at council’s April 13 meeting, to allow construction to begin “as soon as possible.”

Outbuildings at Moyie

The SS Moyie site is going to see some construction in the near future.

The Kootenay Lake Historical Society received a federal/provincial CERIP grant for the construction of three CPR-style turn-of-the century portable buildings on the SS Moyie grounds.

One building would be for a new workshop; the second is for storage of tools and seasonal-use items; and the third will act as a self-guided interpretive facility for visitors.

A letter from the society said all buildings from the outside would look like authentic turn-of-the-20th-century CPR buildings with drop-cap siding, four- or six-pane windows with wood trim, asphalt roof shingles, and painted to CPR colours. There will be some modern tweaks, like wheelchair accessibility and heating by electric baseboard.

As the property is owned by the Village, the KLHS had to first ask council for the go-ahead to apply for permits on behalf of the Village.

Hydro lineman blues

The Village and RDCK Area D want to convince FortisBC to reinstate the powerline technician position in Kaslo, and renew the agreement to allow the Fortis lineman to repair BC Hydro power lines in the Lardeau Valley. This was the arrangement up until 2013, when the lineman in Kaslo retired.

In an informal email exchange between Area D Director Aimee Watson and Blair Weston from FortisBC, Weston says he would want a request from BC Hydro before moving on this. “There is no sense for FortisBC to do any feasibility work without buy-in from BC Hydro to start, as there is not enough work in the Village to keep an FTE (full-time equivalent) busy…” he said.

Bear Smart

The Kaslo Bear Smart Working Group is working towards making Kaslo a provincially designated Bear Smart Community. The group asked council for a $2,450 grant to pay for a Bear Hazard Assessment, one of the requirements of the program. The request will be considered at council’s April budget meeting.

“The Kaslo Bear Smart Working Group recognizes the work that has been underway by the Village in addressing human-bear encounters through the Animal Attractant Bylaw 1155 and the support of WildSafeBC,” the working group wrote to council. “The undertaking of a Bear Hazard Assessment would add to the good work already underway and bring Kaslo closer to becoming a Bear Smart Community.”

Procedure bylaw moves forward

Updates to a bylaw ‘to regulate the meetings and conduct of council’ was given first approval by municipal politicians.

The Procedures Bylaw, as it is known, is an important piece of housekeeping legislation that keeps the work of council proceeding smoothly. It’s regularly updated to reflect changing needs.

Among the changes included in this update are:

- a Code of Conduct for council members. That issue was raised last year when a councillor was criticized for his correspondence with a member of the public;

- to allow and set the rules for council to appoint a youth member to the body;

- changing delegation rules to limit or extend times and handling business arising from them;

- handling late items.

The first reading of the bylaw was passed. A notice will now be sent out to the public to allow for input from the community before council considers further readings and adoption.

• A letter will be written to Dr. Fen Smit, thanking him for his service to the community and for his participation on the Kaslo and Area D Health Select Committee.

• Council approved a $4,000 grant from the RDCK Community Development Fund to go towards Thrift Store improvements. The hospital auxiliary has been upgrading the building over the past year, while it has been closed to the public during the pandemic. Improvements include a bathroom addition, new doors and windows, new heating system, LED lighting and an upgraded concrete floor.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice