Acting CAO Darrell Garceau announced that Viv Thoss would be joining the administrative team as Silverton’s new CAO on August 22. She has 14 years of local government experience, most recently as manager of legislative services and deputy corporate officer at the Town of Golden.
Garceau was thanked by each member of council for his hard work and steady hand in fulfilling the roles, duties, and responsibilities of CAO these past two months. Council members said his presence and influence will be greatly missed.
• In his final report, Garceau confirmed that the Village is in good financial shape. He said staff was “anxiously awaiting” the report on the water line crossing and the main line feasibility study. The campground attendant living quarters will be completed by the end of August. The election will be held in October for all council positions, and appointments of chief elections officer and deputy chief elections officer have been made. Finally, a cooling centre has been established at the lower level museum entrance of the Slocan Lake Arts Centre, where people can drop in between 9 am and 7 pm to cool off with air conditioning and water.
• Some landscaping will be done to create a boundary between the campground and Water Street. If the budget allows, lakeside campsites will be electrified.
• An assessment of the Village office and public works shop buildings will be available in two weeks. This report will inform council in its consideration of renovations. Included in council’s discussion with the assessment firm was an envisioned renovation plan.
• Mayor Colin Ferguson and Councillor Lean Main attended a Health Committee meeting recently to discuss the current staffing situation at the health centre in New Denver, and the reduction of emergency department hours that began on the holiday weekend. According to Ferguson, this closure of the ER at night, and the lack of emergency medical response staff, both in New Denver/Silverton and Nakusp, is a particularly dangerous situation in an area that advertises itself as an outdoor playground and seeks to attract tourism for that purpose.
• Council approved $250 for the ‘Share the Love’ campaign, where coffee and snacks are delivered to the Slocan Community Health Centre to show appreciation to staff. New Denver resident Isy Schumann came up with the idea for the program in January, when she became aware that staff morale was low at the centre due to COVID and staff shortages. The program costs $50 per month and has been funded by the Slocan Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Village of New Denver and an anonymous donor.
• Council gave approval in principle for paving Alpha Lane between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Final approval is pending a finalized costing report and confirmation of off-site costs agreed upon by adjacent property owners. Councillor denBok recused himself from the discussion.
• A new bylaw to regulate street naming and civic addressing in the village was presented to council, to replace the 1987 bylaw currently in force. This item generated extensive discussion, particularly around the approval of requests for civic address changes. The new draft bylaw gives staff the authority to approve requests for address changes, where council currently has this authority. The draft bylaw will be revised to return this authority to council, and will be considered at an upcoming special meeting.
• Council asked administration to prepare a brief on costs associated with a bear bin garbage collection system for the Village.
• Mayor Colin Ferguson reported on the ‘last mile’ internet connection. A full costing and logistical analysis will be available for council’s discussion at the next Committee of the Whole meeting.
• A proposal from the Silvery Slocan Historical Society (SSHS) to accession the artifacts stored on the lower level of the Slocan Lake Arts Centre will be discussed at the next Committee of the Whole meeting. The SSHS would also like to open this Silverton museum space to the public in future. The SSHS, based in New Denver, acquired the Silverton Historical Society’s archives in 2018, following the society’s dissolution.
• Councillor Main highlighted her attendance at the UBCM Heat Preparedness Webinar. This session outlined the effects of excessive heat on the human body and research that shows that people die indoors when it does not cool down inside at night. Main reported that BC is employing a heat alert and response system, and that we can expect heat events in August, September and possibly into October.
John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice