Council Briefs: Invermere invests in heavy equipment

The Invermere council agreed to buy a brand new wheel loader for the district

The Invermere council agreed to buy a brand new wheel loader for the district at its most recent council meeting.

The new piece of equipment will be purchased from Great West Equipment for $234,000 and the decision to buy it — made during the Tuesday, September 8th meeting — comes after a search for used loaders that found prices to be surprisingly high.

“Also, if we’re going to get a new loader, we want to try to get as much life out of it as possible,” said Invermere mayor Gerry Taft, adding even if a good deal on a used loader could be found, the machine might only last another five years or so.

The new loader will come with a guaranteed lifespan of at least 6,000 hours, under warranty. The previous loader had lasted 15 years before going kaput.


Drone discussion

Council also decided at the meeting to ask local photographer Morgan Odland to a future Committee of the Whole meeting to get more information on her request to fly a drone above Invermere for photography purposes.

Discussion among councillors centred on how much jurisdiction the district has to grant such requests, with several councillors saying that, from what they understand, the district only has limited jurisdiction up to a certain height and above or even overlapping that is the jurisdiction of Transport Canada.

Other councillors said there also might be some requirement to keep the drone out of the STARS flight path through Invermere air space.

“Privacy is also a potential issue,” said councillor Al Miller, adding that a few years ago a drone took photos above the Invermere Music Fest, which unnerved a few people there at the time, since they had no idea what the drone was taking photos for.

“I think what we want to just have is some more background information first,” said councillor Greg Anderson.

Council members were unanimous in referring the request to a Committee of the Whole meeting.


Funding denied

The district received a letter from the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure informing Invermere that its application to the new Building Canada Fund for a UV disinfection treatment plant for the Paddy Ryan Reservoir was turned down.

“The program received significantly more applications than could be funded,” read the letter. “This decision does not reflect on the importance of this project, but rather the degree by which the program has been oversubscribed. All applications were equitably reviewed and given consideration for funding.”

Taft said the district should apply again the next time the project has an intake of applications.


Breastfeeding boosted

At the meeting, council unanimously agreed to designate Invermere as a Breastfeeding Friendly Community and proclaim October 1st to 7th as Breastfeeding Week in Invermere.

Taft pointed out that when requests to designate weeks to certain causes come from local groups (as was the case in the Breastfeeding Week), Invermere council traditionally does so, but when such requests come from Ottawa-based national organizations, Invermeres council typically forgoes the request as the whole year would then quickly be entirely filled with special designated weeks.

All council members said they thought the local Breastfeeding Mamas groups was worthy of support. The group’s request for Breastfeeding Week coincides with its participation in the Global Breastfeeding  Challenge on October 3rd, 2015.