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Posted: December 2, 2014

Sparwood Council Facts

sparwoodlogoThe following is a breakdown as to what occurred during the Nov. 17 District of Sparwood council meeting, the last of the 2011-2014 council’s tenure.

Flower baskets and planters

Council approved the purchase of up to $30,000 of self-watering flower baskets and planters for use in the 2015 beautification program. A trial of self-watering hanging baskets was completed this past summer to determine if there were any savings possible. Additional benefits include a reduction in water consumption, reduced fertilizer costs, reduction in labour costs, elimination of fiber pot replacements, and a decrease in fuel costs which equates to a lessening of GHG emissions.

Audit Services

Under the Community Charter, council is required to appoint an auditor for the district. Council directed staff to enter into a contract with Adams Wooley for External Audit Services for the years 2014 to 2018 inclusive. Adams Wooley have provided timely and efficient audit service to the District over the past five years and have over 22 years of relevant experience in BC municipal audits.

Lilac Terrace Expansion

SparLilacTerraceCouncil approved payment of a $685,000 loan to Elk Valley Seniors Housing Society to complete construction of the Lilac Terrace Expansion Project. The loan is to be repaid by any fundraising efforts, with the balance of the loan repayable on November 16, 2019. The Society may prepay the loan or any portion thereof at any time without notice, bonus or penalty.

United Steelworkers – Westray Act

Following a presentation from the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9346 at the November 3, Regular Meeting Council endorsed the following resolution:

The District of Sparwood encourages employers, collective bargaining units, WorkSafe BC and other regulatory bodies to collectively work together to ensure safe working conditions for all employees, including but not limited to:

  • Education to ensure employees are aware of their right to refuse unsafe work;
  • Education around other legislation, including the Westray amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada; and
  • Strengthening whistleblower legislation and protection of employees who report unsafe working conditions.

Access Guardian Program

Council supported funding the Access Guardian Program for the period 2016-2020 in the amount of $10,000 annually conditional upon a similar contribution from the City of Fernie and District of Elkford. The Program provides a Conservation Officer as the Access Guardian from mid-May to mid-November in the Southern Rocky Mountain Management Plan to perform the following duties:

  • educate people on backcountry access issues;
  • provide public relations while monitoring backcountry traffic;
  • enforce backcountry access laws and regulations; and
  • deal with any other infractions that may be encountered while on patrol.

United Way East Kootenay

United WayThe United Way came to the East Kootenay approximately 65 years ago when a United Appeal was formed in Kimberley and then 45 years ago, when another was established in Cranbrook. In 2014 the Board of Directors applied to change the name to United Way East Kootenay to reflect all communities located throughout their service area. United Way East Kootenay covers the area from Edgewater in the north to Kootenay Lake in the west and the Alberta border to the east. Please visit their website www.ourunitedway.ca for information on current funding investments and contact information or call 1-250-426-8833 and speak to Donna Brady.

Bylaws

Bylaw 1158 cited as “Utility and Solid Waste Management Bylaw 1014, Amendment Bylaw 1158, 2014” was adopted. This amendment set rate increases for 2015–2017, provides for an excess usage charge, clarifies rates for bulk water rates, proposed changes to the discount structure, wording regarding disconnection of water relating to illegal growing of marijuana, and other bylaw wording updates.

Bylaw 1159 cited as “Revenue Anticipation Borrowing Bylaw 1159, 2014” was adopted. The purpose of a revenue anticipation borrowing bylaw is to provide for an operating line of credit. The District of Sparwood has not had an overdraft for many years; however, there is always the possibility that one could be created if transfers from investments are delayed.

The following reserve expenditure bylaws were introduced and given first, second, and third reading:

  • Land Sales Reserve Expenditure Bylaw 1160, 2014;
  • Capital Works, Machinery and Equipment Reserve Expenditure Bylaw 1161, 2014;
  • Recreational/Cultural Capital Works Reserve Expenditure Bylaw 1162, 2014; and
  • Waterworks System Reserve Fund Expenditure Bylaw 1163, 2014.

Crown Mountain Coking Coal Project

Crown Mtn Coal CokingThe Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has initiated an environmental assessment for NWP Coal Canada Limited’s (NWP) proposed Crown Mountain Coking Coal Project. NWP proposes to construct a new open pit metallurgical coal mine approximately 13 km northeast of Sparwood. Crown Mountain Project would produce an estimated 3.7 million tonnes/year of clean coal, and would have a mine life of approximately 16 years. Further information about Crown Mountain Project is available at www.eao.gov.bc.ca.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is also seeking comments from the public on the project and its potential effects on the environment. Written comments must be submitted by December 8.

2014 General Local Election Official Results

Mayor, six Councillors, and one School Trustee were elected for a four-year term commencing December 2014:

Mayor:

Cal McDougall

Councillors:

John Baher, Brad Bowen, Lois Halko, Joe Jarina, Jenna Jensen and Margaret McKie.

School Trustee: (by acclamation)

Bev Bellina

Assent Voting – Yes for Cease Fluoridation

“Are you in favour of Council adopting Bylaw 1145, “Cease Fluoridation Bylaw 1145, 2014” which authorizes removal of fluoride from the municipal water supply effective January 1, 2015?”

Yes 578  – No 419

Lead image of Sparwood’s new council by Jenna Jensen

District of Sparwood


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