District revises Sidewalk and Right of Occupancy policy

Businesses will be responsible for looking after main street decks starting in 2018

During the Tuesday, February 10th council meeting, Invermere council resolved to revise its Sidewalk and Right of Way Occupancy policy. Under the revised policy there in now criteria for would-be sidewalk vendors and the district will, as of 2018, stop subsidizing the maintenance of decks along Invermere’s main street (7th Avenue).

“We’re trying to ensure quality in street vending,” said Invermere mayor Gerry Taft, speaking to the reasons for introducing street vendor criteria.

The new policy also means the district won’t be building any new decks on main street, said Taft, adding the current decks will probably be close to the end of their lifespan come 2018.

“There’s going to be some grumbling,” said councillor Justin Atterbury, but added realistically the move makes sense.

Construction of new decks will be up to the businesses in front of which they are located beginning in 2018.


There was also a good deal of general conversation about Invermere’s water quality, with several councillors and district staff pointing out that the issue of bad tasting or smelling water is quite localized across town.

“My neighbour two doors down, he has a problem. I don’t,” said Invermere chief administrative officer Chris Prosser, adding that complaints about water taste and odour tend to increase when the water temperature at Paddy Ryan is above 20 degrees Celsius.

Denchuk said dealing with the issue home by home, by installing filters for instance, probably wouldn’t work as homeowners (particularly renters or second homeowners who are absent most of the time) might neglect to look after them as well as they should.

Prosser responded that going house by house is much more financially feasible than attempting to resolve the taste and smell issues right at Paddy Ryan.

“We would need to spend $20 million to $30 million to get into the reservoir and make major changes. And there is absolutely no way our (water) utility users can afford that,” he said. “We need to ask, is our job to provide perfect bottled water quality water out of the tap, or is it to provide safe water out of the tap?”