CastleRock community without working fire hydrants

At the recent District of Invermere council meeting, the problems surrounding CastleRock's lack of fire hydrants were discussed.

CastleRock Fire Hydrants not operational

Members of the CastleRock community association attended Council to discuss with councilors the state of the fire hydrants in the community that have been out of operation since December. Ray Schoepfer, a member of the community association, brought forward his opinion on the issue in hopes of getting a formal timeline on when the hydrants would be repaired and whether or not the lack of fire hydrants would affect residents’ insurance rates.

Council planned to move forward through checking in with the District of Invermere’s insurance company to determine if they had contacted the insurance companies of homeowners in the CastleRock area before the Community’s Association’s annual general meeting that will take place on June 11th. If at that point there was no definitive timetable to immediately fix the problem, councilor Greg Anderson motioned to produce a letter to homeowners to make them aware of the current situation. His motion was passed during council.

Invermere Housing Corporation

Council also passed a motion for Chris Prosser, Chief Administrative Officer, to act as director of the Invermere Housing Corporation and hold office until the next annual general meeting. The Invermere Housing Corporation was created in 2007 as a structure that would facilitate affordable housing in the future but has not been used to date.

Special Events

Special events coming to the Invermere area were authorized during the council’s meeting. This includes the Calgary Sport Car Club (June 3-5, 2016), Permanent Ceranium Lake Pictures filming of “Suck it Up,” (May 25, June 15) and Ktanaxa Nation Council’s Columbia Salmon Festival (September 10).

Rural Dividend Grant Application

Councilors authorized the submission of an application to the BC Rural Dividend Program for a Community Economic Development Coordinator. Councilors are submitting the application through the District of Invermere but the Development Coordinator would work for the whole valley, complimenting the Resident Attraction Strategy that the District of Invermere had already passed.

Mayor Gerry Taft said the hope is to get 60 per cent of the approximate $250,000 funded through the Dividend Program. He said that because many people are unprepared to meet the first May 31, 2016 deadline, the District of Invermere gains a strategic advantage by being one of few proposals to be submitted this early.

Urban Farming coming to Invermere

Calista Pruden, Invermere resident, brought forward the idea to Council of turning the Community Heritage Garden near Kinsmen Beach into her own urban farm. Pruden has an educational background in Permaculture and has been doing some of her own urban farming on her own property recently. She wants to create a business where she can grow herbs, vegetables and other produce and sell it on a stand while also running tours to educate residents in Invermere about the benefits of urban farming.

Councilors were interested in the idea but wanted Pruden to establish a business plan or proposal for them to consider before moving forward with the idea. Versions of urban farming are going on across the country in cities like Calgary and Vancouver but also close to Invermere in Kelowna.