Council rejects water bottling plant in current spot

Cites possibility to having facility built at another location in the village

By Dean Midyette

Special to the Pioneer

A regular meeting of the Canal Flats council was held on September 9th and was well attended by approximately 25 residents. After a presentation by representatives from the Invermere Public Library and receiving monthly reports pertaining to the fire department, building permit requests, bylaw enforcement actions and emergency coordination, council discussed the new speed bumps that bracket the school zone.

The speed bumps were installed at a cost of $3,000 and impact only the side of the road leading into the school zone. Councillor Doug McCutcheon proposed that, as some motorists are driving around the uni-lane speed impediments, they be extended to cover both sides of the road at both ends of the school zone. Council moved that the additional speed bumps be installed provided that monies could be found in the annual budget.

Council passed a bylaw providing a modest increase to the annual stipends that mayor and council receive. The mayor will now receive an annual salary of $7,244.19, or approximately $600/month, with the four councillors receiving an annual salary of $4,346.51, or approximately $360/month. Council had voted to freeze any increases to the salaries shortly after the mill closure in 2015.

Two zoning amendments were on the agenda, with the rezoning of a property on Burns Ave from RMP-1, or mobile home park, to R-1, or residential/community, passing second reading. A public hearing has tentatively been scheduled preceding the next regular council meeting on October 14th.

The second zoning amendment dealt with an application from the proponents of the proposed water bottling plant. The proposal would have seen the plant built on a 1.2 acre parcel in the northwest corner of The Flats RV Campground in an area defined as Gateway Commercial in the new Official Community Plan. The amendment was unanimously defeated by council. During discussion by council, Councillor McCutcheon noted that “the facility does not fit in that area” and cited the vision for the gateway area directly from the OCP. He also noted that he is supportive of new businesses and that his vote hinged on the proposed location.

Councilor Marie Delorme opined that the gateway area “is a service area to the travelling public” and noted that the proposed facility “does not fit” in the gateway zone. She also noted that the Golder Report, which is a hydrological review of the aquifers from which village water is drawn, was undertaken in 2007 and that an updated study should be undertaken by the proponent. The Golder Report noted that 5,500,000 liters of water pass by the Village’s main well each day, with the proposed facility applying to the Province to harvest and bottle 72,000 liters per day.

Councilor Lake stated that the village is not turning away the water bottling plant, simply that it needs to be constructed in a different location.

Finally, a dog control bylaw was passed unanimously.

The regular council meeting scheduled for September 23rd has been cancelled due to the Union of BC Municipalities meetings in Vancouver, with the next regular meeting of council scheduled for October 14th.

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