Nakusp council meeting standing room only

Redevelopment, stolen firewood, breakwater and launch questions, and more at Nakusp council.

  • Oct. 25, 2013 4:00 p.m.

It was standing room only at the Oct. 15 Nakusp council meeting, and extra chairs had to be brought in to accommodate the public in the gallery. The majority of the assembled citizenry were from the Coachman Campground, either homeowners or landowners.

At the end of agenda business, homeowner Shawna Lagore gave an impassioned speech on behalf of the residents of the park, asking council to develop a policy addressing issues around mobile home park redevelopment. In her speech she noted that other municipalities have developed such a policy and that parks are often a source of affordable housing.

In a letter to council, Coachman Campground owners Ed and Susan Kostuch defended the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act currently in place, saying no municipal policy was necessary as they believed the Act was equitable. According to the Act, landowners who serve eviction notice are required to pay out twelve months’ pad rental in compensation.

“If the Village was to require the landlord to pay up to $10,000 in moving expenses this could work out to forty months or over three years of pad rent,” noted the letter from the Kostuchs. If the landowners were required to pay the market value of a home that couldn’t find a nearby pad, it could costs more than 16 years in pad rental, on property that the owners have been paying taxes, maintenance.

Steep penalties like this could discourage investors who make rental properties available, the Kostuchs’ letter pointed out.

BRE keeps on rollin’

Councillor Ulli Mueller announce that the Business Retention and Expansion plan is to be rolled out to the public after an initial presentation on Oct. 23 to the steering committee and council.

“I think it’s going to be a really interesting report and will guide us in a lot of our decisions,” commented Mueller.

Loggone it

NACFOR is a few truckloads of firewood lighter than it should be, thanks to thieves who have stolen three or four logging truckloads of wood stolen from the Slewiskin cut block.

“There are some individuals with a voracious appetite for firewood – they are becoming a real nuisance by ignoring signage and cutting into piles of logs that are destined to be sold by NACFOR,” Coun. Tom Zeleznik reported. “We are keeping our ear to the ground to figure out who is doing this.”

NYC pilot flying high

Coun. Joseph Hughes told council that the youth group in town who recently opened the Nakusp Youth Centre are looking for continued support from the community via donations of money and supplies to keep the space open. The centre is a three-month pilot project, but will stay open if the support is there to do so.

Departmental restructuring

Mike Pedersen is now the Director of Operations for Arena and Parks, and Public Works, a new temporary non-union position which could become permanent. The union is on side with the move, and the restructuring will mean not only that Pedersen is taking a one-year leave of absence from the Public Works Manager position but that Richard Cann becomes Assistant Manager of Arena and Parks and Bob Gresiuk Assistant Manager of Public Works.

When asked if similar restructuring plans were in place for the Nakusp Hot Springs managerial position now that the Cedar Chalets will become part of Village operations on Nov. 12, CAO Tynan told the Arrow Lakes News “at this point in time we haven’t determined what is happening when the Chalets come on board.” No changes are planned for the hot springs at this time, she said.

Launch questions

There’s been a question about seasonal access via the Nakusp boat ramp.

“It was not anything that council had understood before with BC Hydro,” said Tynan, “that the agreement limited them to only having to provide seasonal access.” The Village CAO pointed out that the utility had been contributing to snow clearing, for example.

Hydro’s interpretation of their requirement is that they only to provide seasonal access. However, the documentation is not clear, and the Village has sent a letter to the Comptroller of Water requesting further clarification of BC Hydro’s responsibility.

Mayor Hamling said it is important to highlight one clause in the access order that states “[w]hereas enjoyment of the reservoir area in a manner similar to that which was available to the public prior to the creation of the reservoir.”

Coun. Mueller asked if the concern is with the length of the ramp as it is now, or as it will be when it’s completed. Mayor Hamling responded that the concern is that users will have to deal with reduced access in the meantime, adding how long it could take to complete the project is unknown, given Hydro’s track record

“In the meantime, what if it takes five or six years to get there for some reason,” she stated. “Look at how long it has taken for Hydro to even build the darn thing.”

Breakwater news

BC Hydro has told Nakusp the only way they will provide a breakwater is in the event that the marina would no longer exist.

I found this astounding that a letter would come back saying as long as you’ve got a marina there you don’t need a breakwater. That says to me that the marina is acting as a breakwater,” Hamling told council. “I believe we have the right to appeal this decision and I think we need to do that .”

CAO Tynan added that there is the precedence of other situations where comptroller initially said no but the decision was appealed and a different answer was reached.

Cemeteries are for life

Like his life, Bunty Maxfield’s memorial is extraordinary. The headstone, made out of concrete, is a larger size than normal, and doesn’t fit into the bylaw regulations. Coun. Mueller moved that the installation of the headstone was approve, with the addition of a conditional waiver that the family look after the stone. Coun. Guy Duchaine it was “unsustainable” to have waivers for family upkeep, as the headstone may outlive generations of family.  She said that cemeteries in Europe have a variety of markers that make them a feature rather than plots of cookie cutter memorials. A motion to review the bylaw was also passed.

Request for redundancy requested

The Village is formally requesting BC Hydro install a second line of service to provide redundancy in case of power outages. Although the substation is to be replaced, only one line will be coming in to Nakusp. CAO Tynan said she was told by Hydro at UBCM that it would be very expensive to put another line in, and therefore unlikely to happen.

“I thought it was quite cheeky of them to say it was too expensive to put a second line here,” mayor Hamling remarked. “We’re the area that’s been affected so the rest of the province can have power.”

 

Arrow Lakes News