Council Briefs: Canal Flats stays abreast of RDEK planning

Paul Marcil believes RDEK Strategic Priorities and Planning session offered food for thought.

Canal Flats councillor Paul Marcil believes the Regional District of the East Kootenay’s (RDEK) Strategic Priorities and Planning session offered food for thought.

After completing the two-day session on April 16th and 17th, Marcil highlighted five regional strategies to the rest of council during the regular April 27th meeting that he feels could be applied to the Canal Flats community.

The reason Marcil pulled out specific strategies and projects from the regional session for council to review, he added, was to help target new goals and to explore how they affect Canal Flats.

“It could be applied here in either how it affects Canal Flats or (presents) an opportunity to learn,” explained Marcil.

He informed council the RDEK could be looking into  management restructuring for Columbia Valley-wide recreation, which Marcil says, pertains to the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena in Invermere.

“I thought it may help Canal Flats if we ever have (staffing) changes and we should maybe be aware of putting input into that structure,” added Marcil.

Mayor Ute Juras said the restructuring was to help facilitate a staff’s upcoming retirement.

“That one was brought forward at the last meeting because their manager is retiring,” said Juras.

The Westside Legacy Trail raised alarm bells for Marcil at the Strategic Planning Session.

“It is my opinion that, while the Westside Trail is a positive for the valley, I see no direct benefits to Canal Flats, as it terminates in Fairmont,” said Marcil. “It is imperative (that) discussions on this funding result in a promise of some type of trail plans and funding plans made to the village that the trail must extend to us in the near future.”

“Everybody is putting trails together,” he added, “so the reaction was (for) the RDEK to put together a compiled list of trails. It will be a comprehensive list of all the trails in this area.”

The discussion also included the possibility of creating standardized signage for the trails and exploring the option of connecting both existing as well as proposed trail systems.

Marcil continued by telling council about RDEK’s newly approved agriculture plan to help with economic development discussion. Marcil suggested the Village of Canal Flats should request information from this project for review and discussion.

Lastly, Marcil expressed an interest in the projected revenue doubling at the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT). Due to the Waneta Expansion Project in Trail and the Arrow Lakes Generating Station, the projected trust revenue is expected to reach a total of $48 million in 2016 and 2017 which could translate to financial support across the Kootenay Region.

Marcil voiced a desire to see if there’s an opportunity for Canal Flats to prosper from the CBT’s profits.

“We should be asking for some of that money to put toward our murals and the Discovery Centre,” he concluded. “We should be asking for that money… or we should be meeting with the CBT to find out if these projects have any chance.”

Juras thanked Marcil for attending the RDEK Strategic Planning Session as an alternate and accepted his report as information.

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