This has been a busy week in the District. Spring has arrived and many projects and problems will need to be sorted out and prioritized.
Recently, Mr. Myles Bruns, Thompson-Okanagan Regional Manager for the Jobs Tourism and Innovation Ministry announced funding that could be used to help forward the projects identified at the Valemount economic development session hosted by the JTI Ministry.
Mr. Bruns and the JTI Ministry have continued to work with our communities on the identified initiatives to further economic development in the North Thompson Valley.
Clearwater and Barriere partnered together to use the recently allotted funds for the Agricultural Land Use Inventory. Our two communities also have partnered on a Green Energy scan which will identify viable projects in our area.
There are a number of things happening in the North Thompson Valley all of which will benefit Barriere. By working with our neighbouring communities we will reap the benefits of a combined wealth of knowledge thereby providing success for everyone.
Locally Councillor Stamer as Public Works co-chair in charge of roads met with Bart Chenuz, roads manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to go over the roads situation. They looked at various problem areas around the District with an eye to resolving the issues.
In addition to potholes and the like there has been an increase in flooding due to ditches having been filled in or simply blocked by sediment. District staff have been formulating a ditch program that will address these sorts of issues.
A special council meeting was held on March 26. This meeting was structured to allow for public input prior to the council deciding on how the budget would be brought forth. The next step will be that staff will rework the budget with the changes so that it is ready for the public meetings on April 16. Every opportunity for the public to be heard is needed so the process has to allow for that. Thanks to all that came out and gave their input.
The Public Works committee has been hard at work on the first stages of the sewer project. It is imperative that council determine the best possible company to provide the technology for the waste water treatment plant so a Request for Qualifications was crafted by the engineer for the project, Dave Underwood, and posted to interested parties.
Also, the work of surveying the area to determine the best placement for the plant, the pipe locations, lift stations and other required components is well under way. Careful planning will allow for the maximum use of the grant the District received for the first stage of the project.
There will be public meetings around all aspects of the sewer project. The public is invited and encouraged to attend and give their ideas and views.
Councillor Sabyan, as chair of the Bandshell committee, has been working hard to form a group to sit on the committee. Her success was evident by the enthusiasm of the people that attended the last meeting. A good number of ideas were brought forth and a plan for the use and promotion of the bandshell is well on its way to completion. I foresee a good number of events this year that will draw people to the park to enjoy what is being offered.
A number of groups have expressed a desire to come to Barriere and perform at the bandshell. A stumbling block to all these proposals is the need for financing. At the last Development committee meeting there was a discussion around local businesses sponsoring the events at the park. I trust that Councillor Sabyan and her committee will be quick to follow up the idea. An enjoyable evening of music, laughter and fun at the bandshell would be a great way to wind up the day.
The only variable that cannot be controlled is the weather. We can all hope for the best though and maybe nature will oblige.
Speaking of the Development committee, Mr. Paul Morris has agreed to sit on the committee. His ongoing commitment to giving back to the community is well known through his work with the annual Toy Run and other projects. Always quick to lend a hand I am sure he will provide the committee with the benefit of his business experience as well as his energy.
I hope this finds you all well and looking forward to what will be an exciting year here in Barriere.