Invermere council revisits Russian olive tree wood project

Invermere councillors field requests for funding and support at council meeting

Invermere council received several requests for funding and support, and discussed the possibility of using wood from the old Russian olive tree, which was cut down in the the old Cenotaph Park last summer, to build a community posting board, during its most recent council meeting.

Russian Olive Tree Wood

During the Wednesday, January 14th council meeting councillor Paul Denchuck inquired on behalf of Imagine Invermere (of which Denchuk is chair) whether or not the district would be interested in using the wood from the Russian olive tree to build a community posting board, which would be put up in the new Cenotaph Park, once renovations to it are complete.

“Imagine Invermere is basically just wondering what council thinks of the idea,” said Denchuk. “The process is in its infancy, basically Rick Hoar and I went to look at the wood (from the tree) and there’s a lot of it. That’s where the process is at, we just want to see if council is even interested before proceeding further.”

Councillors Justin Atterbury and Al Miller both said they’d like to see the revitalization work finished before offering an opinion on whether or not a community posting board would be an appropriate fit in the new park.

“I’d certainly want to understand the make up of it (the posting board) first. I like the idea, but they (posting boards) can be good or they can be an eyesore,” said Miller.

Invermere mayor Gerry Taft suggested Imagine Invermere to create an image of what the board might look like, to give a sense of its size and dimensions.

The district had gathered a list of people interested in using the wood after the tree was cut down, but questions arose about whether the people on the list were truly interested in using the wood to make something for the community (as had been intended) or whether they were more interested in it for personal use. Consequently the district went through a formal request-for-proposal process for the wood, resulting in just one submission (which proposed using the wood to make a fountain in the new Cenotaph Park).

Councillors said they had hoped to see more bids and Taft said that if the district did another request-for-proposal, but this time with more specific guidelines for a more specific project (such as the posting board), more proposals might come in.

Donation Requests

Council had donation requests at the January 14th meeting from both the Rod and Gun club and from the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners. In discussion on both items councillors said the groups should be notified about the district’s formal discretionary grant-in-aid process (which has intake in the fall), and be invited back to a future committee of the whole meeting to give further information on their requests.

Shuswap support request

The Shuswap Indian Band requested a letter of support from the district as part of the band’s application to continue development of its Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP), which is similar in scope and aim to a municipal Official Community Plan (OCP).

“The Shuswap land is right at the entrance to Invermere and a lot of people who visit here don’t realize its two separate entities. So I think it’s in our best interest to work with them (the band) as much as possible to enhance what we (the district and the band) collectively have here,” said Miller.

Council unanimously voted to sent a letter of support to the band.


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