Nakusp council, September 27: Food, water and land all on agenda

·5 min read

Mt. Abriel connector trail

Council thinks a plan to link the Mt. Abriel bike trail complex to the village is a good idea.

Council approved writing a letter in support of the Nakusp and Area Bike Society’s application to develop a trail between the community and the world-class biking trail complex.

“NABS is looking to build [an] approximately 10-km non-motorized connector trail to the village that could be used year-round as a biking, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoe trail,” wrote NABS project manager Adam Balls. “It would also allow for all members of the community and visitors alike to access the Mt. Abriel site or recreate from within the village without the need to drive/ride on the highway.”

A possible route has already been identified.

Airfield on the agenda

There’s good reason for council to take a look at improving the local airfield – but it has to decide if the project is a priority.

That’s the upshot of a report to council following letters from local pilots expressing support for the tiny airstrip, located just north of town.

Nakusp’s airfield is a rather minimal operation; it has five private hangers and helipads, charges no landing fees and offers no amenities.

“Very little investment has been made to the airport over the past years and minimal time is spent on maintenance,” the report notes.

But with Village staff’s ‘to-do’ list over 60 items long, council has to decide that it’s a priority project – though that’s not to say the idea is without merit, the report says.

“The letters received encouraging council to put priority on airport development bring up relevant points about the potential of the airport,” the report notes. “It is the only airport in the region and is vital during the wildfire season and for medevac purposes.”

But the overworked staff can’t just add the project to their list.

“If council wishes staff to take immediate action to explore opportunities for airport development, this direction should also be combined with discussion regarding what other current projects could be tabled,” it notes.

Council voted, on staff recommendation, to add the project to the review of council and staff priorities, planned for December.

Playground sign

The Rotary Club’s Adventure Park is going to get an entranceway befitting the $200,000 project.

Council approved the Rotarians’ request to replace a minimalist ‘Playground’ sign at the entranceway to the park with a substantial gate that will match the state-of-the-art playground about to be built.

Rotary will pay for the new gate, which features a 10-foot-high stone column capped with a cement topping plate and horizontal log span.

Land sale

A Nakusp couple is going to be allowed to purchase an unused plot of land adjacent to their home.

A staff report cleared the way for the 7,300-square-food parcel of land near 10th Ave and Broadway to be sold to Howard and Kathryn Cann for $50,000.

The Canns had approached council in the spring to ask for the purchase. Now the deal can go ahead, but there are conditions: the Canns will have to pay any legal and other fees associated with the sale, and the land has to be consolidated and rezoned to match the existing R1 designation of the couple’s property. They’ll also have to agree to a covenant restricting building on that piece of land to match the neighbouring properties.

If it all goes through smoothly, the money from the sale will go into the Village’s land sale reserve, which can be used to fund other municipal projects.

NACFOR supports projects

The community of Fauquier will be receiving support for two community projects, thanks to NACFOR.

Council approved requests from Electoral Area K Director Paul Peterson for two projects, to be paid for by the NACOR Legacy Fund.

The Fauquier Fire Department will receive $10,000 to reimburse it for expenses during the summer forest fires in their area, which forced the community’s evacuation for several days; and for the administrative cost for the training of the Burton, Edgewood, and Fauquier fire departments.

The other grant – $12,927 – will go to the Fauquier Community Club for construction of a unisex washroom. The money is the community club’s share of the $129,000 project.

NACFOR’s Legacy Fund returns profits generated by the Nakusp and Area Community Forest to Arrow Lakes communities.

Well pump not well

It had a good long run, but the water pump for the village’s well #2 finally gave up the ghost this fall, prompting the need for immediate replacement.

A staff report told councillors that the well had started acting up in September, tripping off its power supply several times before finally dying. It had been installed 10 years ago, well past its expected six- to eight-year lifespan.

The pump had the good grace to last until after peak water season, so its failure didn’t affect water service.

The replacement cost $30,000, and will be paid for either from the current capital budget, or if the unexpected expense can’t be covered by that fund, will come from the water reserve instead.

Council approved the pump’s replacement.

FireSmart funding

The Village will apply for $150,000 to help plan and initiate more FireSmart projects around the community next year.

“The 2021 wildfire season was a stark reminder of the need to be prepared and to assist residents in becoming resilient to these threats through preparation,” notes a report to council.

The Community Resiliency Investment grant program is wholly funded by the Union of BC Municipalities.

Woodstove exchange

Been thinking of swapping out your old-and-busted woodstove for a better one? Now’s the time, if you want to take advantage of a rebate program offered by the RDCK and Village.

The Woodstove Exchange Program offers a $350-$500 rebate for anyone wanting to replace their old stove for new. The Regional District pays for the bulk of the program, but $100 of that rebate is offered by the Village. The local government will pay the rebate for up to 10 residents looking for an upgrade this fall.

The program helps the community by improving air quality and reducing health problems attributable to wood burning.

So far three people have signed up for the rebate this year.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting