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Posted: December 8, 2016

Sparwood Council Facts

sparwood-logoThe following is a synopsis of what occurred during the Dec. 5 District of Sparwood council meeting.


Canadian Pacific Railway – Licence of Occupation

Council deferred its decision on whether to issue a temporary Licence of Occupation (LO) to Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), to give themselves more time to understand the impact.

CPR which is establishing a home terminal in Sparwood and repositioning several employees to the community and seeking to provide employee parking on a temporary basis (six months) until a more permanent location can be secured in the spring. The proposed temporary location is within a portion of the District of Sparwood roadway on Red Cedar Crescent adjacent to Lions Park, which is close to the CPR Bunkhouse.

Council heard from Jim Hayward, a resident of Red Cedar Crescent, and Ken Holberton and Ron Linkert, on behalf of the Sparwood Lions Club, regarding their concerns if council were to issue a LO to CPR. Concerns, regarding the employee parking lot, included the impact to nearby property values, safety issues for children paying in the park, the volunteer time put into developing the park, the noise from vehicles, the loss of trees, and that there are no speed limit signs currently posted on the north end of the street.

This matter will be brought forward for consideration at the Special Meeting on December 12.

The staff report and Licence of Occupation are available here.


Grant Application

Council authorized the submission of an application to the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Program for funding to undertake water and wastewater infrastructure network studies.  The infrastructure studies will provide a framework for future servicing, statutory right-of-way locations, subdivision and development servicing approvals, and other improvements within the District of Sparwood.  The proposed project total is $250,000 and if the grant application is successful, the district’s contribution will only be $42,500.

A copy of the staff report is available here.

Baldy Ridge Extension Project

Council received an update from Manager of Planning, Nelson Wight on the Environmental Assessment Office’s (EAO) assessment of the Baldy Ridge Extension to the Elkview Mine.

District of Sparwood photo
District of Sparwood photo

On August 12, the EAO issued its permit for the Baldy Ridge Expansion, which will provide a total of 153 million metric tonnes of clean coal (Mmtcc) and would extend the overall life of Elkview Mine operations by about 23 years to 2045.

For over a year the various working group members have participated in this process, including people from various government and non-government agencies, as well as the Ktunaxa. Sparwood Chief Administrative Officer Terry Melcer, Councillor Joe Jarina, and Mr. Wight represented the District of Sparwood on this working group and advocated strenuously for the community’s interests. The outcome of that effort was an acknowledgement from the EAO that Sparwood is uniquely affected by this project. That is, although Sparwood receives a share of tax revenue and economic benefit from that industry as the other members of the Elk Valley Property Tax Sharing Agreement, it alone suffers many of the negative impacts from that activity. These impacts include the impact on mountain landscape, increases in noise and vibration, and possible impacts to air and water quality. Consequently, the EAO included in their permit specific conditions that seek to avoid, mitigate against, or compensate for such impacts.

For details on Sparwood’s advocacy, please read the submission to the EAO, which is contained in the Discussion Paper. To learn more about the EAO’s review and approval of the Baldy Ridge Extension permit, please read the Assessment Report and Table of Conditions.
Sparwood looks forward to working with Teck through a “shared-value” approach to mining that provides lasting benefit to our community.

Inter-Community Business Licence

Sparwood town hallCouncil approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Fernie and the District of Elkford for the Inter-Community Business Licence (ICBL).  The MOU includes clauses such as:

– Effective date of January 1, 2017;

– How the MOU can be updated;

– Fees collected will be directed to the Elk Valley Economic Initiative;

– Guidelines for processing licences, enforcement, and requesting a review or audit; and

– Reporting requirements for each municipality.

The ICBL is an add-on to a base municipal business licence that allows mobile businesses (e.g. trades and caterers) to operate across the three Elk Valley municipalities.

Telecommunications Co-Location Agreement

Council authorized a Telecommunication Co-Location Agreement between the District of Sparwood and Tough Country Communications Ltd. be executed for the placement of communication equipment at 136 Spruce Avenue. The term of the agreement is for five (5) years commencing January 1, 2017 for $600.00 per year.

Other News

christmas-lights-tourChristmas Light Judging

Sunday, December 11: Mark your calendars and remember to turn your Christmas lights on!  The Sparwood Chamber of Commerce will be going around Sparwood judging Christmas light decorations.  They will be judging best decorated house, mobile home, apartment and business.

Seniors Light Tour

Thursday, December 14: Join the Sparwood Chamber of Commerce for a wonderful evening of lights and laughter on a tour of Sparwood.  Board the bus at Lilac Terrace at 6:30 p.m. or you can be picked up at the Seniors Villas or Sasko Manor. After the tour there will be entertainment, refreshments and door prizes at Lilac Terrace. Call the chamber at 250-425-2423 to arrange for pick up and drop off at the end of the evening.

Holiday Greetings

Mayor, council and staff of the District of Sparwood extend their very best wishes for the Holiday Season. In lieu of sending Christmas cards and in keeping with the true spirit of Christmas a donation will be made to the Sparwood Food Bank and Toys for Tots. We wish you all Peace, Happiness, and Good Health in 2017.  Please drive safely over the Holidays

Upcoming Meetings

Special Council Meeting – Monday, December 12 at 1 p.m.

Regular Council Meeting – Monday, December 19 at 7 p.m.

District of Sparwood

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