• There’ll be labour peace at the Village until 2023. Council approved a three-year contract for its workers, calling for a 2% increase in each of the three years. The new contract took effect on August 1.
• Council moved to change its cannabis bylaw. It removed a reference to only allowing one cannabis shop in the community. This frees other would-be retailers to open in town, if they can meet the other physical and legal requirements.
• Council approved spending $20,000 on the engineering design work for a new reservoir for the village. The 200,000-US-gallon (approx. 757,000 litre) reservoir is a cornerstone of the town’s plans to secure and improve its water supply. Staff told councillors they were still a few steps away from letting the contract to potential firms, and this step would secure engineered drawings of the job, a proper budget estimate, and the required legal and tender documents. That should be done by the end of the fall, with an eye to building the new reservoir in the spring. It’s estimated to cost somewhere between $450,000 and $600,000.
• Councillors did a solid for the future council – and taxpayers – of 2060. That’s when the town’s new breakwater should be due for replacement. Instead of scrambling to scrape up the cash for an emergency repair, council voted to establish a reserve fund to slowly build a pot of money to replace the marina structure. It will also do the same for the municipal campground. Establishing both funds could impact taxes going into the future, but with many variables and a long timeframe, council can adjust the annual contribution according to need.
• Council will apply to have the municipal airport lands taken out of the Agricultural Land Reserve. However, it will have to wait until October to make the application, as the Agricultural Land Commission is changing its procedures. Council will have to review its own application and approve it before sending it up the chain for approval.
• The Recreation Nakusp Society is applying for a grant for improvements to the Jackie James Memorial Park. The group, which represents hockey, soccer, slo-pitch and other sports, is seeking $25,000 from the RDCK’s Community Works Fund to supplement the $63,000 they have in the bank now – $30,000 of which came from council. The money will go to improvements to the ball diamond. Council approved writing a letter of support for the group.
• An investor is buying the old Columbia Machinery building (see story elsewhere in this issue), but needs to have the dog’s breakfast of decades-old zoning and variance issues settled before any improvements or development can begin. Council took the first step by allowing a Development Variance Permit to recognize the building’s placement – it sits almost on the edge of its property line, in violation of modern standards – to make it a legal, non-conforming parcel of land. That way the developer can subdivide the property in the future.
John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice