Electric bikes, an electric car and a dissolution at District of Invermere council meeting

Council briefs from July 9th Council meeting

Money for “fun stuff”

Imagine electric bikes on the curb waiting for you to hop on and pedal around town.

The District of Invermere (DOI) anticipates receiving over half a million dollars from the Province over the next three years “that we can do fun stuff with,” said Chris Prosser, the chief administrative officer. More specifically the funding will be geared to livening up the community, helping residents and visitors get around and prettying up the area.

The DOI will direct its Resort Development Strategy efforts toward: starting up an electric-bike program, expanding the transit offerings between Invermere and Panorama, investing in waterfront improvements near James Chabot beach, hosting more events, highlighting Indigenous artwork and generally making town more fun, friendly and navigable.

The Provincial funding for resort communities returns a chunk of hotel and room-rental taxes to the DOI to support tourism while also benefiting residents.

Car share dollars

At their meeting on Tuesday, July 9th, Council voted to approve giving $10,000 to Wildsight for their electric car-share program and to provide a dedicated parking stall at the DOI office.

The funding will come out of the remaining Imagine Invermere budget.

“This $10,000 actually puts them over the top to complete the purchase and start initiating the program,” said Mr. Prosser.

Imagine Invermere dissolved

Council is dissolving its Imagine Invermere committee and absorbing the responsibility for sustainability into the DOI.

“Most initiatives that the committee was dealing with were all District initiatives so from the community garden to the plastic bag initiative they were all landing on staff’s plate,” said Mr. Prosser.

Rather than having one committee handle all of the sustainability initiatives and brainstorming, councillor Ute Juras said the new plan is that council would “identify a certain project like the plastic bags and form a committee around that.”

That approach “seems a better use of people’s time,” said councillor Kayja Becker, adding that: “we should set a policy that council is always looking through a sustainability lens and then bringing it out and doing ad hoc committees so that people don’t feel burned out.”

Four-plex request declined

Council denied a request to rezone 717-15A Crescent to allow for a four-plex after a public hearing and after a few council members visited the location to scope out the possibilities. While staff said the proposal fits with the Official Community Plan and Imagine Invermere and supports infill development, council voted against it.

Councillor Ute Juras said the neighbours had legitimate concerns and that the laneway is “not a road, it’s a driveway.”

Dine and discuss

The Columbia Valley Community Foundation wants to buy dinner for you and your guests this fall in exchange for getting to hear about your discussion and what matters most to your group. Wendy Booth, who is coordinating the program, is looking for 10 to 12 people to volunteer to host a discussion at a venue of their choosing.

“It’s pretty flexible depending on what the host wants to do,” Ms. Booth told council, inviting them and the audience members to consider holding an event.

For more information, email wndbooth@gmail.com.

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