“The Upper Clearwater meeting expectations were met,” was how Carol Schaffer, Thompson-Nicola Regional District director for Wells Gray Country (Area A) described the outcome of one of two community meetings she hosted last week.
The meeting she was referring to was held at the Black Horse Saloon in Upper Clearwater on Tuesday evening, May 17.
It followed a similar community meeting she hosted at Birch Island Community Park on May 16.
Schaffer was to host a community meeting in East Blackpool on Tuesday evening of this week. Look for a report in a future issue of the Times.
Upper Clearwater has been the scene of some controversy recently over the TNRD grant-in-aid for its community hall.
However, last week’s meeting at the Black Horse Saloon began with an introduction of Hilary Barnet, area manager with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Barnet covered off her job responsibilities and discussed areas that are of concern for residents, such as the Moul Falls parking area, brush-cutting along the roads, and winter maintenance.
There was some discussion about whether the road was over-plowed or under-plowed; with most commenting that they were very happy with the winter maintenance.
Surfacing of the roads in the locality is on the provincial list but some base issues need to be addressed before the government will resurface.
In her presentation, director Schaffer discussed the proposed Wells Gray Geopark and what it could mean from an economic standpoint. Concern was raised over how it would be funded.
Schaffer also talked about Kinder-Morgan’s expansion project for the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Final decision on the project is expected from the federal government in December.
Telus will not expand its system in the Upper Clearwater, Schaffer said. Others get to use the Telus infrastructure for free, so unless there is a solid business case, the utility company will not establish or expand systems.
Other news items talked about included that Spences Bridge is installing an electric car charging station, Vavenby Community Park is getting improvements, including a new fence and playground, and Ed Salle of Barriere has been appointed to the TNRD’s agriculture advisory committee.
There was some discussion about weed control. People were encouraged to call Hilary Barnet if it’s along highways. Weeds are the responsibility of Southern Interior Weed Management Committee (SIWMC).
Those at the meeting were told about a co-op grant funding contest. Anyone interested in submitting a project suggestion was asked to contact services coordinator Sherri Madden for the link.
TNRD director of legislative services Carolyn Black explained the petition process being used to decide fate of the grant-in aid for the Upper Clearwater Hall.
In order for the grant-in-aid to end, a double majority will be needed, she said.
This means that those opposed to the hall funding need to get a majority of landowners representing a majority of the assessed value in the service area to send in petition forms to the TNRD before the deadline (June 15).
This procedure follows legislated requirements.