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Posted: November 4, 2013

Water vote result best for village

utejurasMayor’s Report

By Ute Juras

Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you all had a fun filled and safe fright night.

As you are all aware, the vote for the water closed at 4:30 p.m. on September 30 and was passed.  The results were as follows:  three per cent voted against the Merge Bylaw and 11% voted against the Borrowing Bylaw.

On behalf of Village of Canal Flats Council, I would like to thank the property owners of Canal Flats for their support. For those of you who are still in doubt, I would just like to reiterate that this was the best and least expensive option we had available to us. This project will not only bring potable drinking water to Eagles Nest, but it will also bring the main village system in compliance with provincial regulations, which will be enforced starting in 2015.  Had we waited until then the cost would have been much more.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me or the village office.

Invermere’s multiuse centre vote: why it’s important to Canal Flats

Another issue I wanted to draw your attention to this month is the new multiuse centre that Invermere voters opted to support November 2. Why is this our concern? Up until last year there were two Recreation Service Areas in the Columbia Valley. One was the Canal Flats Service Area, which included the village and part of Electoral Area F up to the north end of the lake not including Columere Park. The other was the Columbia Valley Service Area, which included the remainder of Area F, Invermere, Radium and part of Area G.

In an effort of regional collaboration and a more equitable taxation for the taxpayers of Area F, the Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors combined the two areas.  We now have one recreation taxation area inclusive of Canal Flats, Fairmont Hot Springs, Invermere, Panorama Mountain Village and Radium Hot Springs.

CFArenaThis new recreation area is funding the Canal Flats Arena and the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena in Invermere, not including the recent upgrades of the Canal Flats arena, which are borne by the original Canal Flats service area until 2015.

The bylaw that was created also leaves room to include other services such as ball fields, beaches, etc. in the future. This change will result in a substantial tax savings for Canal Flats taxpayers after the arena upgrades are paid off, as a much larger tax pool is now available.

Since this new facility in Invermere would possibly house recreation service clubs such as the Valley Fitness Centre, Invermere Judo Club etc., and therefore be potentially servicing the entire valley, Invermere council asked the Columbia Valley RDEK directors to help fund 25% of the project as well as operational costs through the Recreation Service Area. This would result in a tax increase of about $10 to $20 a year depending on the assessment of your property.

Mayor Gerry Taft of Invermere will be attending a council meeting subsequent to the referendum vote in Invermere to answer questions.

In the meantime, I have already received some feedback from the community, but would appreciate more. Please contact me and let me know if you would use such a facility and/or if you are willing to help fund it.


Now I would like to offer some clarification on council procedures.

There was an issue brought to my attention regarding muzzling dogs when being walked, which came out of some draft minutes from the Committee-of-the- Whole meeting of council on October 5.

Those minutes were not adopted by council at Monday night’s council meeting as they did not reflect correctly what was discussed at the meeting. Moral of the story is that as much as minutes from any council meeting are attached to the agenda package, which is posted ahead of time on the website, the recommendations are not in effect until the minutes are adopted.  To avoid any further confusion in the future council has directed staff to clearly mark documents that have not been accepted by Council as “DRAFT”.  I hope this makes sense, but please contact me if you have any questions.

Arena closure

The arena was closed for a while last month due to some elevated carbon monoxide levels. This was not caused by the recent renovations but was something that could have happened at any time. As soon as the problem was identified the arena was evacuated and staff worked diligently to correct the issue.

The arena was re-opened on Sunday, October 27. I would like to extend a big shout out to Mathieu Founier for his swift actions and the professional handling of the situation. Well done, Mathieu J.

Paddlers and kudos to Sylvie

Finally, a group from the U.S. has been paddling the Columbia River upstream from Astoria, Oregon, to Canal Flats since last August to draw attention to the salmon issue. They were welcomed at the Tilley Memorial Park on Monday, October, 28 by the village and the Ktunaxa Nation. If you would like to learn more and follow their journey visit their website at voyagesofrediscovery.blogspot.ca. Thank you to Councilor Marcil for representing council.

A very special ‘thank you’ to Sylvie Hoobanoff for the organization of the event, which was a challenge as the time of arrival was somewhat in the air due to weather and currents. However, as always, she pulled it off!

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions/concerns. (Phone: 250-489-9070, E-mail: [email protected])

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