SD73 lease on the Ridge jumps by 33 per cent

as the mayor sees it with District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys - SD73 lease on the Ridge jumps by 33 per cent

Last week got kicked off with the Investors Group Walk for Memories event. It was amazing to see so many community members out to support this worthwhile cause. A great big thank you to the Beharrell family for your combined support. It was heart warming to see the whole family right from this year’s honouree Florence Beharrell, to her great grandchildren out walking and supporting the event.

I want to extend my personal thanks to our local organizer, Liz Gilbertson and her team for inviting me to be a part of the celebrations again this year.

District staff and I met with structural engineers at the old HY Louie Store to discuss the best way to go forward. We had been told that an enormous amount of work had to be done to bring the building up to current building code standards. This would have effectively killed any renovation of the building due to costs that could not be justified.

It turns out what triggered this problem was not any of the ideas around the best use of the building, but the discussion of putting a peaked roof on the building.

The engineer told us that the extra weight of the peaked roof and the change in the wind profile triggered a need for additional engineering.

This put the project into the current earthquake upgrade codes and an array of other expensive issues.

However, if we repair the flat roof with a modern roofing system none of this additional engineering is required. Additionally, if we place insulation as a portion of the roof renovation work the project will still qualify for gas tax funding.

This puts the project back on track to becoming a reality as part of our downtown revitalization plan, as well as the possible move to having our own municipal hall. Getting proper information is always good.

Our municipal hall is currently housed in leased accommodations from School District 73. This lease is up this year.  The letter from SD 73 to district staff around the new terms of the lease was included in the Feb. 3, council agenda as correspondence for information.

This is a good thing, as the letter tells district staff that our lease payments will increase by approximately 33 per cent. Please note here that this is an increase of one-third more. There is no decimal point between the two threes.

I can only speak for myself, but the idea that we move to our own building just became that much more appealing. As much as I want to be a team player with the other levels of government and build worthwhile relationships, I have no tolerance when it comes to our community getting gouged for cost items like lease payments on an old school building. In addition to this, the fact that there was no notice of this possible increase makes council’s task of setting a proper and responsible budget almost impossible.

I attended ABC Literacy Family Fun Day at the Ridge. Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach Coordinator, Jill Hayward, and her team of volunteers did a wonderful job of making the day both entertaining and informative. There were tables with various tasks,  and once each of these was completed the kids were allowed to choose a book to take home along with the projects that they had created.  Add in the cookies, drink boxes and custom designed cupcakes and all was good.

On Monday, Feb. 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a community organized family day at the outdoor rink. Hot dogs and juice boxes will be provided. You don’t need to be able to skate to attend.  All that is needed is your sense of having fun. This event was organized by a number of dedicated community members that believe working together and having fun together go hand in hand for the benefit of all.

If you are new to town come out and make some new friends. If you have lived here forever you already know how to make this a success just by coming down with your family and having fun.

Sponsorship is being provided by generous local businesses that recognize giving back to the community is all part of our small town spirit.