Invermere’s updated official community plan (OCP) is closer to becoming reality.

District councillors gave first reading to a bylaw during their most recent council meeting on Tuesday, February 28th that would meld Invermere’s existing official community plan with the district’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (better known as Imagine Invermere).

“The main thing is taking the sustainability plan and the OCP and integrating them so that they are not conflicting with each other,” Invermere mayor Gerry Taft later told The Valley Echo.

The process of integrating the two plans has been going on for more than a year. Work on that process was contracted out by the district to planning company Urban Systems, and the company along with district staff carried out consultation with Invermere resident throughout last summer, setting up booths at the farmers’ market and, on several occasions, on Invermere’s main street (7th Avenue).

“So this (bylaw) is the conclusion of that consultation on how to wrap those two plans into a single updated plan,” said Taft, adding that the OCP was drafted about 15 years ago and is due for an update.

The district has scheduled an open house on the bylaw for Wednesday, March 11th in the Invermere council chambers and a public hearing for Tuesday, March 17th, also at the council chambers.

Invermere council will give further readings to the bylaw following the public consultation, with official adoption of the bylaw likely coming during a council meeting sometime in April or May.

During the February 28th meeting Invermere council also received fee-for-service reports, in the form of letters, from the Lake Windermere Ambassadors and from Columbia Valley Arts, as well as a progress report letter from the Columbia Valley Hospice Society.

The Hospice Society reported that, during 2014 it received charitable status, opened its office space, and completed 654 visits for 28 clients/families.

The Lake Windermere Ambassadors report highlighted the organization’s water quality monitoring efforts, its annual Summer Splash event, its concession booth at Kinsmen Beach, an update to its Kinsmen Beach shoreline restoration project and forecasted upcoming projects such as monitoring programs for zebra and quagga mussels.

Columbia Valley Arts reported on its running of the Pynelogs Cultural Centre, various organized special art event (such as Art from the Heart and the Wings Over the Rockies Art show), regular art exhibits in Pynelogs, the Cinefest Film Festival, concerts and its efforts to help with design of the new multi-use centre.