By Dean Midyette
The Village of Canal Flats mayor and council need to be applauded. In the wake of the Canfor mill closure late last year, they have been working overtime to create a solid foundation for stability and growth.
It would be easy for the council to come up with soundbites with no substance or panicked kneejerk reactions, to refer to creating a business-friendly environment or encouraging a positive aura that will attract new residents. Fortunately for the 700 residents of Canal Flats, their elected officials have taken the correct path, taking the time to analyze the issues the community now faces, then creating a detailed plan that will ensure the strength of the municipality now and into the future.
The water system has been upgraded to meet new provincial standards, thereby dissolving covenants that halted development due to inadequate fire flow and potable water. Council has examined the zoning within the Village boundaries, which has now been simplified and supports business and residential development.
On Tuesday, May 24th, council passed a bylaw amendment that allows docks to be placed on Columbia Lake for property owners in the Painted Ridge and Eagles Nest subdivisions. These docks will conform to Ministry of Environment standards and also fit within the parameters laid out in the Columbia Lake Shoreline Management Guidelines, which were established by the Regional District of East Kootenay in 2010. In addition, these docks with alleviate some of the traffic that forms at the Tilley Memorial Park boat launch on busier days.
The current council has a comprehensive vision for the future of their community. They understand that well-regulated development increases tax rolls which will lead to lower taxes, local jobs and new residents. New residents create a stronger magnet for business and a more vibrant future.