Rail crossing installation moves up a year

Crossing at Otter Lake Cross Road in Spallumcheen to be installed in 2018, a year ahead of plan

Improving a Spallumcheen railway crossing is being moved up a year.

Council approved in 2016 a request to partner with CN Rail for a funding application to install an upgraded active signalized warning system at the Otter Lake Cross Road crossing. The upgrade would cost around $325,000 with the township’s portion being 12. 5 per cent or up to a maximum of $47,000.

The request was approved for the 2019 budget.

The railway has stated they wish to complete the work in 2018.

“It certainly will make things safer for citizens,” said Coun. Todd York who earlier questioned the $325,000 price tag “to put up a couple of dinging signs.”

Council unanimously approved supporting the funding application by CN Rail to Transport Canada and moving the cost from the 2019 budget to 2018.

Off the market

The township voted unanimously to remove property it owns at 4156 Spallumcheen Place off the real estate market until more groundwater evaluations are obtained.

The empty lot has a for sale sign on it but is not actively listed by a realtor. Staff has had recent discussions with the Eagle Rock Water District on the status of their water system and accompanying aquifer.

“With the close proximity of our lot and the Eagle Rock Water District pump house, an opportunity exists on evaluating the hydrology on this lot,” wrote public works manager Roger Huston in a report to council.

“With a proven groundwater source being an incredibly valuable resource, a long-term strategy and benefit analysis of the lot with the regards to the potential of groundwater would be prudent to evaluate.”

Schedule change

Township council and staff will try something different with its committee of the whole meetings for the remainder of year.

Considerable discussion was held over deputy corporate officer Cindy Graves’ report calling for the meetings to be moved to an hour before the first council meeting of each month, at 6 p.m, in October, November and December.

“Due to limited items for the meetings, a large number of meetings have been cancelled,” said Graves. “The process to cancel meetings can be time consuming on staff to ensure we meet our obligations under the community charter and the township’s council procedure bylaw.”

Several councillors questioned whether moving the meetings to an hour before the regular council meeting would be enough time to discuss the matters.

The move is to create greater efficient use of time and utilize both regular meetings for the regular business of council, and committee of the whole meetings for the introduction of policies and bylaws, and better opportunities for delegations, committee and commission reports and introduction of complex land matters.

“Let’s try it to the end of the year,” said Coun. Christine Fraser. “If it’s not working out, we can always change things in the new year.”

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