Invermere council adopted a bylaw amendment allowing mail-in voting and resolved to submit a grant application for upgrades at Paddy Ryan reservoir at its latest council meeting.

The election voting bylaw amendment was unanimously passed by council member, with no discussion. The issue of a lack of mail in voting options for local residents had be brought to the fore by Invermere resident John Rouse prior to this past November’s municipal election, but there was not sufficient time for the amendment to be drafted, approved and adopted before the vote took place. Mr. Rouse and his wife, who away during the election, were unable to vote as a consequence and all councillors agreed a mail-in voting bylaw amendment should be adopted as soon as possible.

Councillors also voted unanimously to submit an application under the Build Canada Fund’s small communities program to upgrade and build an ultraviolet disinfections treatment plant at the Paddy Ryan reservoir (one of the district main water sources, along with a groundwater source in Athalmer). The total cost of the project would be about $1.3 million, with the grant application being for two-thirds of that amount and the district responsible for the final third.

Invermere councillor Paul Denchuk said that having a second method of water treatment (the UV disinfection would be in addition to chlorine treatment) at the reservoir is a good idea, since it provides backup in case one fails.

“We’re a tourist town. If somebody visits and drinks several glasses of awful water, it paints us with a certain brush,” he said.

Several councillors pointed out that water quality issue tend to be quite localized across town.