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Posted: February 12, 2015

Sparwood Council Facts

sparwoodlogoThe following is a break down as to what occurred during the Feb. 2 District of Sparwood council meeting.

Elk Valley RCMP Detachment update

Sergeant Will Thien of the Elk Valley RCMP Detachment presented the 2014 third and fourth Quarter Reports on offences responded to by the detachment. The report reflected an increase of nine per cent in calls for service during the third quarter of the year and a two per cent increase in calls for service during the fourth quarter of the year over the same periods in 2013.

2015/2016 Policing Priorities: Council provided Staff Sergeant Lorne Craig with a list of their top policing priorities for Sparwood to be incorporated into the 2015/2016 RCMP Annual Performance Plan. Those priorities included:

– Increased communication and public engagement;

– Increase speed limit from Highway 43 to the top of the hill 
on Sparwood Heights Drive from 40 km/h to 60 km/h;

– Set-up radar on Highway 3 between Causeway Bay and 
the Sparwood Motel over a long weekend;

– Increase student safety in relation to vehicles not 
observing rules related to school buses and need for larger 
information signs on the highway; and

– Improved response / investigation into complaints received 
from citizens with evidence of violations as opposed to advising citizen that all they can do is send a letter and ask the individual to comply.

Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation (CBBC)

Aimee Ambrosone, Chief Operating Officer and Wes Eisses, Network Infrastructure Manager of CBBC provided Council with an overview of the services provided by the CBBC. The CBBC is working across the Columbia Basin to connect communities and rural areas and help them consider how to use that connectivity to benefit their community and residents. CBBC’s regional fiber optic network connects a broad area of the Basin from Rossland to Canal Flats, and east to the Elk Valley. Further information on the CBBC can be obtained here:

Arena Temporary Floor

Council directed staff to enter into negotiations with the City of Cranbrook with the intent to sell the district’s interests in a portable arena floor which was purchased in partnership with the City of Fernie in 2009. This decision followed a request made by the City of Cranbrook to either buy into the agreement with the two municipalities or purchase Sparwood’s interest in the floor. Since purchase, the City of Fernie has utilized the floor three times and the City of Cranbrook has utilized it once.

Sparwood Skating Club

Council supported a request from the Sparwood Skating Club to waive the requirement (under Section 7.2 of the Recreation Cancellations and Withdrawals Policy) to give a minimum 60 day notice when cancelling ice time to allow them to move their existing booking on Saturday, February 28 for their annual ice carnival to Sunday, March 1. This approval was dependent upon all affected parties being in agreement to either cancel or move their ice times to facilitate this change. In the event, agreement cannot be reached, the Director of Community & Facility Services was authorized to provide the club with two free hours of ice time to hold their event.

Michel Natal Kiosk Site

Council authorized the Mayor and Corporate Officer to execute a partnering agreement with Teck Coal Ltd. for the maintenance and landscaping of the kiosk on Highway 3 at the Michel Hotel site. In return for Teck providing the land, kiosk and landscaping, the District has agreed to water the shrubs and plants directly adjoining the kiosk; collect garbage from the receptacles provided at the site; and conduct a biannual inspection of the kiosk for vandalism and damage. The term of the agreement is for one year effective February 3, and will automatically renew each year until either party provides the other with 30 days written notice to terminate the agreement.

Notice of Committee of the Whole Meeting TIME CHANGE

sparwoodtownhallThe time for the Committee of the Whole Meeting scheduled for Monday, February 23, has been changed from 7 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Wildsafe BC

Following a brief update by Kathy Murray, Elk Valley WildSafe BC Community Coordinator, of her presentation to Council in October of 2014, addressing the importance of preventing human/wildlife conflicts, council agreed to participate in the WildsafeBC (Elk Valley) Program, through provision of $2,000 as a grant for the 2015 – 2017 calendar years. The Program Manager will provide annual updates on activities undertaken in the community. WildSafeBC, formerly Bear Aware, is an educational program adopted by communities throughout B.C.

Coal Alliance

Council directed staff to invite Mr. Alan Fryer of the Coal Alliance and Union representatives to attend a meeting of council at their convenience in response to the request from the Coal Alliance to share information about the coal mining industry.

Species at Risk Act

Environment Canada is committed to working with local governments to ensure the protection of species at risk and their critical habitats and is seeking comments on the potential impacts of amending the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). A complete set of statements and the consultation path for each species are available HERE.

The public is invited to submit their comments on the potential impacts of amending the List of Wildlife Species at Risk according to the Committee of the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada status assessments by April 15, for species under a normal consultation process. Six terrestrial species will follow an extended consultation process. Please provide remarks by October 15, for species following an extended consultation path. Your comments will be considered and will inform the Minister’s recommendation to Cabinet.

Baldy Ridge Extension Project

Following council’s consideration of a request received from Hungry Baytaluke, council resolved to invite citizens to share their comments on the Baldy Ridge Extension Project with the Environment Assessment Office.

Teck Coal Ltd. is proposing to extend the working life of the Elkview mine by developing and operating the proposed Baldy Ridge Extension Project. The proposed project is subject to review under BC’s Environmental Assessment Act.

The BC Environment Assessment Office is seeking public comments to ensure that all potential effects that might result from Baldy Ridge Extension Project on valued components are identified for consideration as part of the assessment process. Valued components are aspects of the natural and human environment that are considered to have scientific, ecological, economic, social, cultural, archaeological, historical or other importance.

The comment period will end on February 16. All comments received during this comment period in relation to Valued Components Selection will be considered.

The Environment Assessment Office will accept public comments through their website at, by fax at 250.356.7477, or by mail to: Kate Haines, Project Assessment Manager, Environmental Assessment Office, PO Box 9426 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC V8W 9V1.

Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History

The Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History has been working on the history of the Columbia Basin. Council resolved to provide a letter of support to include with their grant application for a web photo project, which will show how the lumbering industry had a pivotal role in the making and growing of communities like Sparwood and the Kootenay region.

Vantage Point Signs

Council reconsidered their decision made at the January 19 Regular Meeting to deny an extension to a sign permit for Coal Town Properties for signs located at 1302 Highway 3, 6000 Highway 43, and 1800 Sparwood Heights Drive. An extension to the permit was approved for the period January 1 to December 31.


Upper Elk Valley Fire Protection Services Authorization Bylaw was adopted. This bylaw authorizes an agreement between the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) and the District of Sparwood for the provision of fire protection services to the Upper Elk Valley Fire Protection Service Area.

Upcoming meetings (In council chambers)

Monday, Feb. 16 – Regular council meeting at 7 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 23 – Committee of the Whole Meeting at 1 p.m.

District of Sparwood

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