At this time, we present our annual year in review, looking back at the events of 2011 as recorded in the pages of the Creston Valley Advance.
3 — After getting input from business owners about the business licence fee structure, Creston town council considered a new bylaw to simplify the calculations.
At the Oct. 25 meeting, a motion was passed to direct staff to prepare a bylaw that would put seven categories into effect: home crafts ($40), commercial – small ($75), commercial – large ($130), industrial ($300), temporary – carnival ($200), temporary – all other ($75) and non-profit business ($25).
• The Town of Creston’s “open for business” policy got a boost with the announcement it had been added to the province’s BizPal online business permit and licence service.
BizPal is an innovative service that provides entrepreneurs with simplified access to information on the permits and licences they need to establish and run their businesses. This unique partnership among federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments is designed to cut through the paperwork burden and red tape that small business owners encounter.
10 — Grape harvests were mostly complete after a flurry of activity in orchards, vineyards and fields over the previous month, after a final burst of sunshine allowed grape crops to ripen. The cold, wet spring and early summer made it an early struggle of grape cluster development, but keeping vine production at low levels was expected to produce excellent results.
• Aaron Gregory said he often thought about what kind of life he would be living if his adoptive mom, Mary, hadn’t connected with the Haitian orphanage he spent his early years in.
The Prince Charles Secondary School student was working to help give back some of the good fortune he’s enjoyed growing up in Canada.
Aaron and Mary were returning to Haiti on Nov. 18, and taking suitcases filled with much needed items for the orphanage. They would also volunteer their help while they were on the visit.
17 — Creston town council narrowly approved a motion to proceed with bylaw amendments discouraging residents from activities that can attract bears to residential areas. A tagging program would identify residents who place garbage containers on the street before pickup day.
Also, fallen tree fruit would have to be cleared at least every three days and open bird feeders (excluding hummingbird feeders) would be banned between April 15 and Dec. 1.
• Fire Chief Bruce Mabin reported to town council that a rope rescue training program has had an unanticipated benefit — much of the trash that has been dumped into the Goat River from Canyon Bridge was removed on Nov. 5 and 6. Washing machines, computer equipment, televisions and road signs were among the debris removed.
24 — Ron Toyota and five incumbent town councilors were returned to office in the Nov. 19 election, while newcomer Scott Veitch replaced the retired Len Folkman. Toyota was re-elected to his second term by taking 60 per cent of the vote, beating former mayor Joe Snopek 1,002-676.
Judy Gadicke led all candidates, with 1,056 votes. Tanya Ducharme finished second with 996. Jerry Schmalz took third place with 851, Veitch had 814 for his fourth-place finish and Wesly Graham was named on 804 ballots. Joanna Wilson took the final position with 782.
Area B director John Kettle survived a challenge for a fourth term on the Regional District of Central Kootenay board.
For School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake), Creston trustee Melanie Joy survived a challenge from Heather Suttie, receiving 639 votes to Suttie’s 589.
In the Creston South Rural area, newcomer Rebecca Huscroft more than doubled the votes earned by Annette Hambler-Pruden, who won the second seat. Huscroft’s vote count was 751 and Hambler’s was 338.
• Regional District of Central Kootenay directors met in a special meeting on Nov. 17 to approve an additional $2.1 million in borrowing to complete the arena project after a series of surprises added significantly to the anticipated project costs. The borrowing bylaw amendment was approved unanimously. Phases 1 and 2 were completed at a cost of $25.353 million, leaving $3.769 million for upgrades to the arena.