Tiny tots and parking spots

Dragonfly Daycare at Invermere Council to talk logistics of move to Strand’s Restaurant location

Charlotte Streicek, who is working to open Dragonfly Discovery Children’s Centre in the building on 12th Street that used to be Strand’s Old House Restaurant, paid for parking for the site but is now asking Invermere council to waive her parking requirements.

According to the district’s calculations based on the size of downtown businesses, her options are to provide five on-site parking spaces or pay the district a one-time fee of $22,500 for street parking. Her preference is to do neither.

“It is a finite budget that I’m working with,” she told council at their meeting on Tuesday, December 10th. “There’s just some huge killer expenses that weren’t allotted … It puts the project at risk.”

Ms. Streicek is working to have the property renovated to turn it into a daycare with 72 childcare spots but said she has been running into unanticipated expenses bringing the 1912 building up to current code requirements for a daycare.

If she could have her $22,500 refunded, she said it would come in useful in getting the daycare ready to go.

“I don’t have money to pull from anywhere else,” she told council. “This is a massive economic development project, initiative, that I’ve taken on there and added to the community, to the whole valley. I’ve got a giant list of people wanting in … People will move here if there’s childcare. People will start businesses. People can’t go to work right now.”

When mayor Al Miller asked about using some of the lawn for parking to cancel or lower her costs, Ms. Streicek responded with a laugh.

“Oh no, we need that for a playground. I don’t want cars in our yard,” she said.

Councillor Kayja Becker said she expects that a daycare would have parking needs comparable to those of her dance studio. She finds that drop offs and pick ups happen quickly and that minimal parking is required.

“Children don’t drive,” she said.

Councillor Ute Juras conceded Ms. Becker’s point but added to it.

“As much as children don’t drive, their parents do,” she said.

Mayor Miller said the decision on whether or not to forgo the daycare’s parking requirements is not an easy one and could set a precedent for other organizations wanting to save cash.

“I’ll be the devil’s advocate and just say that if we let one go it’s going to be a constant battle going forward,” he said.

The district will reach out to the daycare’s new neighbours to get their thoughts on the parking situation before making a decision early in the New Year.

Ms. Streicek hopes to open in February. She said she’s getting emails every day from those interested in registering their children.

Despite the costs of renovating the old building, she said it’s an ideal location for a large daycare centre.

“The mature yard space will create an excellent outdoor classroom in downtown Invermere, with several large solid shade trees, a garden space and a well maintained lawn,” she said. “Spending an abundance of time outside exploring, discovering, creating, and playing is so great for a child’s health and well-being and inspires so much play, discovery, and connection. Our bunnies and guinea pig will also be thrilled to have an on-site yard.”

Just Posted

Survivor compensated for Sixties Scoop

Meraw recently received compensation from the Sixties Scoop Settlement

Interim payments issued to survivors

Interim payments issued for claims made through Collectiva’s Class Action Sixties Scoop Settlement

Advocacy for Secwepemc language

Archie believes Secwepemc language learning can steer First Nation children toward a positive life

Pruden plans to step down

Pruden will not run as an incumbent for the Métis women’s chair during this year’s MNBC election

Sport camps to help youth become better overall athletes

Athletic camps for youth coming to valley this month

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

Most Read