Canal Flats to step back from Columbia Lake Stewardship Society

Canal Flats recently held council and discussed a number of pressing issues. Among them, Tilley Memorial Park.

At the Village of Canal Flats’ most recent council meeting held on Monday, July 11th, a number of pressing issues were put forward. One such issue was the decision for the Village council to take a step back from its membership in the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society going forward.

The Columbia Lake Stewardship Society is a citizen-based group of volunteers that formed in 2013 to work on a variety of different issues that dealt with the health of the lake. Its current activities include water quality and quantity sampling, aquatic plant surveys, and communicating with lake users on issues such as invasive species and best boating practices.

The Village of Canal Flats originally joined the Stewardship Society to keep up to date with decisions and actions that were happening within the Society as no representative from the Village was attending meetings at the time. According to Mayor Ute Juras and Coun. Marie Delorme who brought the issue forward to council, Canal Flats is the only municipal or governmental body that sits on the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society.

While the Village didn’t have a non-governmental representative before, they do now, Juras said. Peggy Conte is attending the meetings for the Society as a citizen of Canal Flats, making it unnecessary for Canal Flats council to be there. Juras said this will allow them to let the Society make decisions for themselves while maintaining an amicable relationship that allows the Village to support the Society if and when help is needed.

“I’m not saying we don’t support them, but we’re just not sitting at the table, making comments and decisions like that,” she said. “We just want to step back and let them do their own thing and if they need our support on anything than they can come back to us.”

Tilley Memorial Park

Another issue that council discussed during the meeting was the possibility of presenting the Tilley Memorial Park upgrades in a formal setting available for the public to view and understand.

With the help of the $85,000 grant the Village is receiving as part of the Canada 150 Infrastructure Program, a number of upgrades will be made to the park including increasing overflow parking, creating two boat launch ramps and increasing seating on the beach to enjoy the new natural playground that will be built this fall as part of the redevelopment.

At the meeting, Juras and the rest of council determined the best option to present the proposal would be at the annual Canal Flats fall fair. Last year was the first year Canal Flats hosted a fall fair event, which was held at the end of October. Juras said there is no definitive date set for this year’s fall fair, but it’s where unveiling the plan that the contractor came up with will take place, with the contractor explaining the drawings and concepts to the public in attendance.