The Village of Canal Flats met on Monday, February 27th to discuss a variety of local issues, initiatives and projects, which included Grant in Aid applications, a Board of Variance appointment, and a public works building discussion.
Council reviewed nine Grant in Aid applications and made a motion to move forward to grant six of the applicants’ funding.
This year, the Village had a preliminary budget of $5,000 for the grants, but a total of $11,450 in funding was requested. Councillor Marie Delorme stressed to the other members of council that in their budget planning they only had $5,000 to give and they needed to stick to that. She suggested that council look at the applicants to see which would benefit all of the community, not just one group. Granted applicants include Canal Flats Community Society, Canal Flats Civic Centre, Canal Flats Food Bank Society, Canal Flats Civic Centre Annual Christmas Party, Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley, and Columbia Lake Stewardship Society.
Council debated over which projects to go forward with, Delorme stating, “We’ve supported all these in the past”. Mayor Ute Juras was vocal about her desire to support the Canal Flats Civic Centre’ annual Christmas party.
“I would like to see this supported even if we go over the $5,000,” said Juras.
Council went forward with the Canal Flats Community Society request for $1,200 to pay rent for the curling bonspiel. The Canal Flats Civic Centre received $2,500 for the Canal Flats Days weekend, the Canal Flats Food Bank Society was granted $1,000 of $1,500 requested, the Canal Flats Civic Centre received $500 for its annual Christmas party, the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley was given $300 of a requested $600 for care, and the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society received $200 of requested $500 to help with operational costs.
Unsuccessful applicants included Canal Flats Seniors who requested $1,500 for a new stove and appliances and the Headwaters Art Society which asked for $700 for liability insurance. Canal Flats Minor Hockey was also unsuccessful in their request for $2,400 in aid to maintain low registration fees. In the end, council’s decision to support six of the nine applicants had them exceed their $5,000 budget by $500.
Council appointed a new Board of Variance. The new board will be in for a three-year term expiring March 1st, 2020 and will deal with rezoning bylaws. Kelly Kask, Susan Boker and Ron Andrews were unanimously appointed by council. The board gives the public the option to go through them if an application for rezoning has been denied by council. Decisions made by the board are final and will primarily focus on siting, dimensions and size of building according to the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development.
Council discussed the idea of putting out a survey to the community to see where the public would like the public works building to go. Council discussed getting input on placing the public works building next to the Columbia Discovery Centre. This suggestion was questioned by Delorme, as this proposed site had previously been defeated by council.
“Why would we ask them if they want it placed next here when we defeated it last week,” said Delorme.
Delorme raised some concerns with putting out a blind survey to the community, citing the council’s lack of public engagement as an issue in regards to the survey. She suggested the best way to handle the public works building location should be through a committee. The location of the public works building will continue to be a source of discussion for the council as no locations have been decided on.