Nakusp council, March 22: Recreation coordinator to be hired

·5 min read

Rec coordinator planned

The Village is looking to hire a half-time recreation coordinator for two years to beef up recreation activities during the COVID pandemic.

The council, working from a proposal by Councillor Joseph Hughes, approved a motion saying “the pandemic is having a resounding effect on the physical, mental health and well-being of constituents and that distancing is eroding the community fabric we usually enjoy” and one way of addressing those social needs is to have “recreational programs delivered by a qualified coordinator.”

The position will be funded with about $40,000 in COVID Safe Restart Funds from the province. The recreation commission will supervise the coordinator, and will provide a twice-yearly report on the coordinator’s activities.

Hot springs revenues cool

February was a cruel month for Village revenues at the municipally owned hot springs.

Hot Springs Supervisor Noel Ballard reported to council that February saw revenues of only $12,800 – down from just under $60,000 in February 2020.

Last year saw 3,100 visitors to the facility in the shortest month, while this year saw just one-third of that – 1,188 visitors.

The Village’s finance director says the restrictions mean the pools are operating at a $55,000 deficit so far this year. However, now that the hot springs have opened up to a wider market (as of March 12 any resident of BC can go), staff are hoping for a rebound in numbers. The chalets have been almost full since they reopened March 12, and the campground at the hot springs will open May 1. Check the website for more information.

Pave paradise, pay a development fee

Property developers will face new fees as the Village seeks to recover costs from more complex developments in town. The Village’s Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw was passed at the council meeting, outlining new application fees that have to be paid for development services.

A developer who wants to subdivide a piece of land for a building will have to pay $300 for the first property parcel, and an extra $50 for each additional parcel. A condo builder will face the same costs: $300 for the first bare land strata lot and $50 for each additional unit.

That’s not all. Any of the usual costs required for planning and development (advertising, legal and land titles fees, contracted planning services, postage, etc.) will be billed to the proponent at cost. Inspection of works will cost 3% of the price of any roads or utilities connecting to the project (with a minimum fee of $500), while the owner also has to pay for the cost of connecting the project to water, sewer, and other utilities.

Property pitch

A Nakusp couple wants to buy an orphan strip of land next to their home in the village.

Howard and Kathy Cann say they fear any other use of the land would be detrimental to their enjoyment of their property.

The strip of land next to their 10th Avenue home was offered for sale to the previous owners decades ago, when the CPR left the area. That owner didn’t buy it, however, and the land has just been considered part of a right-of-way into the community cemetery.

However, “since we bought our property, there have been very few occasions that Village crews even use the lane,” the couple wrote to council. “Most often the crews use the gates at the top of the cemetery.”

That’s not to say, however, the land has been unused.

“We have already had confrontations with drunks from the campground going through the lane in the middle of the night screaming and breaking bottles,” they wrote. “We pick up garbage all the way to the beach and have to deal with dog s--t from irresponsible dog owners!”

The situation has become more urgent as the couple is concerned about plans to improve the access between the municipal campground and the beach.

“We were informed that there is to be a sign encouraging people to use the lane for public access to the Lakeside path,” they wrote. “We were very upset and concerned about our privacy and security!”

The couple say that “in a perfect world” they would buy the orphan land and the lane, and would provide a written easement to the Village for cemetery access.

They say the purchase wouldn’t be a big issue for pedestrians heading to the beach, as it would only be a “couple of hundred metres” to access other routes to the beach.

“With the expected campground expansion across the street from our house, we are counting on the Village to abide by the ‘good neighbour policies’ in Nakusp and be considerate to our needs,” they said.

Council sent the matter to the administration to come back with a report on whether selling the land to the Canns is a good idea.

NACFOR disbursements

Two more groups in the southern Arrow Lakes area are going to be receiving benefits from the community forest company that works in the area.

The Fauquier Community Club will be getting $21,665 from the Nakusp and Area Community Forest legacy fund to build a new pavilion. The money represents the RDCK’s share of the $270,000 project, while the club itself will contribute $5,416. The Columbia Basin Trust is funding 90% of the cost (almost $245,000).

The Edgewood Community Club is also receiving a grant of $8,500 to finish off the paperwork on a new cell tower repeating station in the community. The money will be used to pay for a legal survey of the cell tower area, and to prepare legal documents for the use and right-of-way that have been arranged with the landowner for the land the tower is sitting on. The project has already seen benefits, says the group.

“We now have the cell tower functioning effectively,” Community Club President Bill Penner wrote to council. “Reception has improved from no service to approximately three to five bars for the majority of areas in the community.”

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice