By Dean Midyette
Special to the Pioneer
Canal Flats council resumed business on Tuesday, October 15th after a short hiatus as some council members and staff travelled to Vancouver to attend the Union of British Columbia Municipalities annual conference.
The regular meeting of council was preceded by a public hearing for Zoning Bylaw No 215. An application to rezone a parcel along Burns Ave from R-MP (mobile home) to R-1 (residential) was heard.
After the public hearing, Mayor Karl Sterzer acknowledged that the Village of Canal Flats received an Honourable Mention in Excellence in Governance in front of hundreds of local and provincial officials at the UBCM conference, recognizing the village’s new Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw. The award noted “the policy breakthroughs include: innovation in housing types, work-live downtown, mixed-use master planning, community economic development and community planning policy.”
Council received a letter from the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society regarding the proposed water bottling plant. At this time, a letter from Councillor Marie Delorme was also received, informing council that she was resigning from the Stewardship Society board due to “a perceived conflict of interest with the Society’s agenda and her duties as Councillor to represent the citizens of Canal Flats in an unbiased manner.”
A motion was passed, with Mayor Sterzer recusing, to allow CAO Adrian Bergles to be authorized to sign the Liquor Primary and Liquor Primary Club Structural Change Application for a proposed outdoor patio at 4957 Burns Ave which can seat 30 patrons.
The most exciting part of the meeting was discussion surrounding provincial childcare grants of up to $3 million which can fund up to 100 per cent of project costs through the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Under this grant program, spaces could be built on public or private land. A parallel granting stream is also available with grants capped at $1 million, with those projects restricted to being built on local government property. The operator of the child care programs may be local government or a contracted private operator. With the application deadline landing in November, Councillor Delorme noted that “the Village is sadly lacking in daycare spaces” with Mayor Sterzer noting that “the Village has been on this for a long time and it evolved quickly at UBCM.” Council moved that CAO Bergles move some work into 2020 so that staff time could be freed up in order to prepare the detailed grant application. Up to 70 daycare spaces could be created if the grant application is successful.
Council continues to pursue the construction of a community outdoor pavilion and washroom project, supported by the Columbia Basin Trust.
Council congratulated the Martin Morigeau Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee on the completion of the new adaptive playground and accepted a report from Councillor Doug McCutcheon regarding the ongoing Columbia River Treaty negotiations.
Finally, council had extensive discussion on the Fees and Charges Bylaw No 223 before voting to approve while reserving the right to make amendments to municipal fee structures in 2020. The Dog Control Bylaw No 225 was also passed.