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Posted: February 23, 2015

Sparwood Council Facts

The following is a break down as to what occurred during the Feb. 16 District of Sparwood council meeting.

Elk River Watershed Alliance (ERA)

Spar ERALee-Anne Walker, Executive Director of the Elk River Wateshed Alliance Feb. 16 provided District of Sparwood council with an overview of the organization’s goals which include:

– Monitor water quality on Lizard Creek and Alexander Creek;

– Facilitate community dialogue and engagement to better inform sustainable water decision- making;

– Raise community awareness and understanding about our watershed; and

– Flood strategy. 
The district will be investigating the ERA’s request to share information; assign a staff member as the point person to the Flood Strategy Working Group; participate in training; and authorize the Flood Community Outreach Team to attend community events for impacts to staff resources and any restrictions on releasing the information requested prior to Council’s consideration. For more information on the Elk River Alliance please visit their website at

East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council

Spar EKIPCTodd Larsen, Program Manager of the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council (EKIPC) made a presentation to council on the impacts of invasive plants to the East Kootenay region. The EKIPC is dedicated to fostering support of invasive species management initiatives through prevention, education, and operations.

The district will investigate the impacts to staff resources needed to implement the EKIPC’s recommendations prior to council’s consideration with the increase to the weed control budget to be considered during the budget process.

For more information on invasive plants please visit the EKIPC website at or go online to to report invasive plants.

Sparwood Water Supply – Selenium update

sparwoodlogoThe district will be taking the necessary steps to secure capactiy of the aquifer for future municipal use. Last spring Well 3 was taken out of service temporarily when the selenium concentration exceeded the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines (CDWG), established by Health Canada, of 0.01 mg/L. The CDWG for selenium was modified by Health Canada to match those of the EPA in the United States of 0.05 mg/L. This is slightly higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) selenium guideline of 0.04 mg/L.

The development of Well 4 has now been stopped as an excellent future source has been identified.

RDEK E-911 Fire Dispatch Service Review

The district will be initiating a service review process of the Enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone service provided by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) in accordance with Section 813.04 of the Local Government Act. Council’s decision to move forward with the review followed the report and presentation they received at the January 26, 2015 Committee of the Whole meeting where they were provided with an update on the concerns and deficiencies surrounding the service level under the current contractor.

A stakeholder group, made up of the Fire Chiefs and Deputy Fire Chiefs from each of the participating jurisdictions, has met regularly to identify their concerns and to work with the RDEK to address these issues. Although 12 of the 14 stakeholders supported a Request for Proposals (RFP) process being initiated, RDEK staff recommended to the Board that the current contract with the City of Cranbrook be renewed for an additional five years at the last RDEK board meeting. The board postponed consideration of that recommendation for two months.

A notice will be delivered to the RDEK board, all other stakeholders (the Cities of Fernie and Kimberley, the Districts of Elkford and Invermere, the Village of Radium Hot Springs and Electoral Areas A, B, C, E, F and G) and the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. In addition to the service review, Council will be recommending that the RDEK Board postpone further consideration of this contract until after the service review has completed or the stakeholder group has made a recommendation for the service provider (whichever comes first).

Sparwood Interactive Online Map

SparwoodInteractiveDistrict staff has developed an interactive map promoting facilities and things to do in Sparwood. The map is available on the district’s website.

Are you a local non-profit organization who would like to promote your organization or upcoming event on the district’s interactive map? Then please contact Jude Smith, Business Development Liaison, at 250-425-6271 or by email at [email protected] with the information about your community event.

BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society

Council supported the BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society’s request by making a donation of $200.00 to assist in the provision of disability related support services for Aboriginal individuals and families living with a disability within B.C.

Vacancy rates

Sparwood WJackEvery year the Planning Department contacts local apartment owners, senior’s housing, and mobile home park managers to determine the vacancy rate in the district. This year the informal survey was conducted between January 15 and February 12. Not including mobile home parks the overall vacancy rate is estimated at seven per cent. There are 25 out of a potential 579 units (apartments, senior housing, and mobile home parks) available for rent resulting in an overall vacancy rate of 4.326%.

Resident Doctors of B.C.

Resident Doctors of B.C. represent over 1,300 resident doctors across the province. Residents are doctors who have completed their medical degrees and are in the process of completing specialist training. Resident doctors train across the province including rural and underserviced areas. The district acknowledges and encourages resident doctors to settle and practice in the Elk Valley.

Tea & Taxes & Treats

Sparwood residents are invited to attend a Public Budget Consultation Meeting to be held on: Wednesday, February 25, 2 – 4 p.m. at
council chambers, 136 Spruce Avenue to discuss the district’s Financial Plan for the next five years. Council invites and encourages the public to attend and provide feedback that will assist council in setting priorities for our community.

Can’t make it? You will be able to find the information displayed at the Greenwood Mall and on our website during the month of March.

Summer student employment opportunities

The following summer student positions are open: Parks and Greenbelt Workers; Parks and Greenbelt Worker – RDEK; Administrative Assistant.

Employment for successful applicants begins May 4 and runs till August 28. Applicants must currently be attending a full time program and be returning to school in September to qualify.

Please visit the Employment Opportunities page on our website at for further information on these opportunities.

Energy Efficiency Incentive Program

Builders are encouraged to participate in the district’s Energy Efficiency Incentive Program. The district will rebate 50% of the building permit fees and 100% of the energy audit fees for homes that achieve EnerGuide 80 or better. That incentive, combined with the incentives from BC Hydro could add up to almost $6,000 for a typical new home. For more information contact Nelson Wight, Manager of Planning, at 250.425.6271 or [email protected]

Building Inspection and Permit Services

sparwoodtownhallBuilding permits provide property owners with a reasonable assurance that the structure will perform as intended and provide occupants with an acceptable level of life safety.

Inspection Services is the approving authority for all construction and renovations and is responsible for: Issuing building/plumbing permits;
 Inspection of construction for all types of buildings; Plan review; and Building Code administration.

Be responsible and be safe. Contact the Building Inspector, Riley Barnfather at 250-425-6271 or 250-425-6833 or [email protected], prior to commencement to find out if you need a permit. As of April 1, the district will require a survey certificate at the foundation stage for all for new construction.

Are your house numbers visible from the street?

Take a look at your house from the street at night to see if you can clearly identify your house numbers. In every emergency, response time is critical; seconds lost can mean the difference of life and death. If your home or business is set back from the street, post your address number at the entrance to your driveway. New reflective lettering helps to make numbers visible at night. Not only is this essential for fire, police or ambulance to find your home, it is also the law under our Building Bylaw.

Spring Registration & Community Information Night

Sparwood Curling ClubAt the Sparwood Curling Rink
 Wednesday, April 15, from
 5 – 7:30 p.m.
Parents, volunteers, and other community members find out what is available in Sparwood and how you can help out. Organizations are invited to participate in this opportunity to promote what they have to offer. For more information please contact the Recreation Centre at 250-425-0552.

Upcoming meetings (In council chambers)

– Monday, February 23 – Committee of the Whole Meeting at 1 p.m. Note time change.

– Wednesday, February 25 – Public Relations Committee Meeting at 10 a.m.

– Monday, March 2 – Regular Council Meeting at 7 p.m.

District of Sparwood

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