Bunkhouse idea withdrawn

The highway frontage retail development proposal in Midway has stalled as Kamloops businessman Carl Driedger walks away.

  • Feb. 27, 2014 7:00 a.m.
Midway council header

Midway council header

Kamloops businessman Carl Driedger sent a letter to the Village of Midway withdrawing his proposal to develop a country market retail facility beside the Kettle River Museum.

“It’s time, it’s money, it’s distance,” he wrote in his letter aired at the village council meeting on Feb. 17. “You and Midway, I believe, have all the potential still and I am sorry I can no longer pursue the project.”

Driedger had come to council last June with the proposal to rent the bunkhouse and bring in other structures with false-front facades to create a shopping village. His original proposal, which council turned down, would have seen the bunkhouse renovated by creating openings in the walls between the bunkhouse rooms.

Driedger’s vision was to sell nutcrackers, baskets, weathervanes and windmills in a seasonal business—opening in May and running through until Christmas.

***

A reunion of BCSS grads stretching from 1969 to the present day is coming to Midway as a group of local residents was given approval for use of the arena and James McMynn Community Park from Friday, July 18 through Sunday, July 20.

Midway resident Tami Peters wrote to council on behalf of the group, saying that there has been much interest from the alumni.

The park will be used for camping and the arena, unless weather drives them indoors for their dinner, will only be used for restrooms and showers.

The reunion would coincide with Kettle River Day and JLB Memorial Run.

The letter was seeking approval for use of the facilities and details about the cost.

Council approved the use of the facilities and directed staff to establish a set of rates for all events.

***

Following up on a teleconference call that the village had with BC Emergency Health Services representatives, the village is planning on advertising to let  residents know that free training for ambulance attendants may be available if there is an interest.

***

Last fall Grand Forks Community Futures Boundary (CFB) Assistant Manager Sandy Elzinga came to council to offer a partnership between the village, Rotary Club and CFB that would install a WiFi hotspot in the village. The proposal had some costs for the village.

Elzinga said the village could expect annual costs in the range of $750 to $1,000 but offered that if done creatively through in-kind and by seeking out other partners, the costs could be lower. Council was told the funding is available until March 31, 2014.

The village has since heard of a program from Shaw that installs WiFi in businesses that allows free access to Shaw customers who have installed the Shaw Go WiFi app.

Documents from Shaw claim there are already 3,000 locations set up with Shaw Go WiFi in central B.C. and the Kootenays and they are seeing upwards of 75 businesses per week joining in.

Their letter offered an outdoor unit to service Riverfront Park as well as units at the village office, library, museum, and the Boundary Country Chamber of Commerce office in the bunkhouse basement.

According to their literature, the Shaw offer comes at no cost to the village or participating businesses.

***

Councillor Marguerite Rotvold (who represents the village at the regional district table) told her fellow councilors that the Environmental Services Committee is not requesting an increase for requisition or tipping fees in 2014.

She said that a curb-side organics recovery program may start in the rural area surrounding Grand Forks and the Christina Lake area. The timeline for introduction of the program in the West Boundary will be the subject of further discussions.

***

Councilors Dick Dunsdon and Gary Schierbeck asked that council have a discussion about the village’s participation in the Boundary Economic Development Committee. It was agreed that the matter would be added to the agenda for an April meeting.