Time for a new garbage truck being researched

Updates from District of Barriere council meeting held April 4

District of Barriere CAO Colleen Hannigan reminded all those who attended the District of Barriere Apr. 4, regular council meeting about forming the Greenhouse Think Tank Committee.

The committee is exploring the benefits and feasibility of forming an agri-business-based co-op as a potential revenue stream for the Solar Aquatics System and Ecology Centre currently being constructed behind the Barriere Fire Hall.

“The concept of forming a co-operative that would help fund the greenhouse operation made the front page of the Star Journal and we are hoping that interested people (including “agri-entrepreneurs) will join us on Friday, April 15, noon to 1 p.m.. or Tuesday, Apr. 19, 5 to 6 p.m., at the Ridge (4936 Barriere Town Road) for further discussion on opportunities and options,” said Hannigan.

She also updated on the Solar Aquatics System and Ecology Centre project.  The landscaping for the project is underway, beginning with the southerly side of the property next to the Yellowhead Pioneer Residence where a large rock pit was installed to deal with drainage from the residence driveway and the Fire Hall/SAS/Radio Station parking area.

Irrigation lines are next and then xeriscaping rock, trails, sod and planting beds will follow.

She noted that those working on the greenhouse are pushing ahead to finish the greenhouse interior glazing, catwalk, wiring, heating systems and actual fabrication of the solar tanks as soon as possible.

It was reported at the meeting that the Logging Workers’ Memorial Plaque (The BC Labour Heritage plaque) has arrived and plans are underway to develop an accompanying wall design. The unveiling will be on the official Day of Mourning, Apr.  28 at 5 p.m. at the Barriere Bandshell.

The Splash in the Past splash pad project RFP 16-02 had a closing date of  Apr. 11 at 3 p.m., with results to be reported to council on Apr. 18.

Hannigan reported that Harley Wright, chair of the Lower North Thompson Forest Society,  has generously volunteered his time to act as project manager for the memorial plaque project and will work closely with staff as the project moves forward.

It was reported that representatives from Barriere, Clearwater and TNRD met in Clearwater on Wednesday, Mar. 30 to plan for an economic development forum which will take place in Little Fort on Saturday, June 11. Although initiated by the Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society, it will encompass all business sectors, including agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism and small business. Further details about the forum will be released in May.

It was reported that the district’s 1999 Ford F450 garbage truck, which originally cost $2,000 in 2012 is now beginning to cost almost as much per year to repair as the original cost. The average cost of maintenance for this vehicle is just over $4,000 per year. A cost estimate of $90,870 plus freight and taxes was presented for purchase of a new garbage truck.

“At this time district staff are currently continuing to research the possibility of replacing the old truck with a new vehicle,” reported Mayor Virginia Smith in an interview this past Tuesday.

The mayor also reported that she attended a meeting with Interior Health, Simpcw and TNRD Area B.

“The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the new CEO, Mr. Chris Mazurkewich,” said Smith, “There was discussion around the wait time to get into see local doctors and the confusion for many seniors getting prescriptions filled on time. This led to a discussion about the possibility of having a “Wellness Fair for Seniors”. This would be a joint project with Simpcw, District of Barriere and Interior Health.”

The mayor also attended  the Thompson Regional Hospital District meeting. Director Peter Milobar was elected Chair and Ronaye Elliott Vice Chair. The Interior Heath Association (IHA) had a delegation at the meeting.  Some items from their presentationincluded: The IHA covers 216,000 sq.km.; there are 1,535 physicians, 19,099 staff; $2 billion budget; there is a need for 75-85 physicians right now and there are approximately 25,000 people in Kamloops who do not have a GP. Currently IHA is attempting to put more Nurse Practitioners in place to help alleviate the shortage of GPs. IHA is focusing on how they can keep seniors in their homes longer and what type of homecare that would require. IHA is planning to improve the wait for elective surgery with a hope of having a maximum wait time of 26 weeks.

However, Mayor Smith noted in her report, “I was not clear on how they planned to do this.”