Midway council briefs – rural fire protection moves ahead

The Village sets a meeting date in June to begin taking signatures on the rural fire protection contract.

Midway council logo

June 17 has been set as the date for a public meeting in Rock Creek to put forward the agreement to Kettle Valley area property owners who have expressed an interest in contracting with the village for fire protection services. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at West Boundary Elementary.

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One of the requirements of being a signatory to the B.C. Climate Action Charter is that the Village of Midway must prepare an annual public report called the CARIP.

Deputy Clerk Tami Peters presented council with the final 2013 report at their May 20, 2014 regular meeting.

The report shows that total corporate emissions (those created by village operations) for 2013 were 76 tonnes of CO2, down from 81 tonnes in 2012. The village was also granted credit for eight tonnes in recognition of council’s financial support for the Kootenay Energy Diet. That reduced the total 2013 corporate emissions to 68 tonnes of CO2.

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Council discussed their response to the province on the proposed conversion of volume-based forest tenure allocation to area based. West Boundary Community Forest Director Ross Elliott was asked to comment and he submitted a written report.

Elliott said he favours the area-based tenure because he believes it will provide a better product and may see more investment by tenure holders into best practices on the land base.

Elliott did flag some concerns. “One problem I have with their proposal is that it seems they are going to roll over existing volume based tenure into area based tenure to the same large corporations,” he wrote in his report, adding that the proposal is short on details. “How is it going to be done, will rules change, how will stumpage be based etc?”

Councillor Marguerite Rotvold said that the Round Table on Forestry had identified the lack for fibre supply for small and mid-sized companies as a major issue. “And I don’t see where this new process is really allowing for that,” she said. “”It is fine to make these changes but they also have to consider the small and mid-sized companies that continue to operate during the slow downs.”

Councillor Gary Schierbeck said he didn’t think big companies that don’t use their annual allowable cut should be allowed to sell it, especially if they sell it out of the area.

Mayor Randy Kappes said he would draft council’s concerns into a response to be sent to Victoria.

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Kappes declared a conflict and stepped out of the room when a request was made from Peter and Merle Kappes asking if the village would sell either all or a portion of Palmerston Avenue in front of The Spot.

The request had been made last month but council had referred it to a later meeting so they could do an on-site inspection.

The owners of the gas bar are planning to upgrade their pump island and underground fuel piping to modern standards. If they were to purchase all of the road right-of-way in front of the store, then Palmerston would be closed as a municipal street between Florence and Chamblet.

They would like to move the island south from the current location to allow better traffic flow on the north side. They also want to relocate the diesel pump farther away from the highway. The small size of the lot that the pumps are located on and the current setback requirements make it difficult for them.

Administrator Penny Feist offered council a third option: to send the issue to the Board of Variance for comment. “With the zoning as it is right now there is quite an extreme setback,” Feist explained. She said that regional district planner Mark Andison views the situation as appropriate for the Board of Variance to comment on.

Council voted not to sell any of the street allowance at this time but to ask the Board of Variance for their comments.

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Responding to a request for reconsideration of the sewer rate charged per washing machine at the motel, council decided to charge for only two machines this year and review the sewer rate schedule for next year. Motel owner Bob Kaytor had pointed out that they have replaced top-loading machines with high-efficiency front loaders, which he maintains discharge 70 per cent less water into the sewer system.

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Kappes reported that the application for the West Boundary Community Forest has been sent in.

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