Invermere supports Area G backyard chickens and bees

Invermere council gave its support, during its most recent council meeting, to backyard chickens and bees

Invermere council gave its support, during its most recent council meeting, to backyard chickens and bees inRegional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Area G, as well as wildlife exclusion fencing in both Area G and F.

The RDEK had sought comment on the matter from all local municipalities, and Invermere council received this request at its Tuesday, October 11th meeting.

“I say go for it,” said Invermere councillor Al Miller, on the topic of chickens and bees in Area G.

“We allow it here in Invermere and they (Area G) are more rural than us. Go ahead. My family has chickens and we are almost in the downtown,” said Invermere councillor Paul Denchuk.

During discussion, Invermere mayor Gerry Taft said “bees are actually quite heavily regulated by the province and there is a detailed provincial registry”, adding that from what he understands this stems from worry about spreading disease between bee hives.

Council members unanimously agreed to send a letter of support in favour of the backyard chickens and bees for Area G and for the fencing in both Area F and G.

Economic development funding

Council members also agreed at the October 11th meeting to consent to a proposed RDEK bylaw amendment that will change how the various municipalities and RDEK rural areas contribute funding to the Columbia ValleyEconomic Development Service Area.

Taft told other council members that the default mechanism for deciding which municipal entities contribute how much funding in these kind of arrangements usually tends to be assessed residential property value, but the RDEK board of directors purposefully left a little bit of vagueness around this issue in the wording of their bylaw when the local economic development service area was first set up, effectively allowing them to raise the money or allocate tax based on other factors, such as population or number of commercial properties.

“It left a little bit of discretion, but Victoria (the provincial government) didn’t like that,” said Taft, adding that meant the bylaw reverted to the default of assessment value, and in the Upper Columbia Valley, that means AreaF pays far more than any other municipal entity (57.5 per cent of the total cost).

“What is being proposed now it to base it more on business properties. The argument is that the economic development service area benefits commercial properties more than residential properties,” said Taft. “It arguably makes it (the service area contributions) more fair.”

Under the current arrangement, Invermere contributes 22 per cent of the funding ($22,000) for the ColumbiaValley economic development service area, Radium contributes nine per cent ($9,000), Canal Flats contribute abit less than three per cent (almost $3,000), Area F contributes 57.5 per cent ($57,500) and Area G eight percent ($8,000). If the bylaw amendment is passed, Invermere will contribute 33.5 per cent ($33,500), Radium15.5 per cent ($15,500), Canal Flats five per cent ($5,000), Area F 39 per cent ($39,000), and Area G six percent ($6,500).

Council members concurred that the increase in funding for Invermere was, relatively speaking, not that large and that there is some fairness in the proposed new arrangement.

Farmers’ Market no. 2

Invermere council received a letter at the meeting form the Windermere District Farmers’ Institute, informing council of the institutes’s plan to hold a mid-week evening farmers’ market at the institute’s Agripark (near the crossroads) next summer, from late June until late August.

Market organizer Margaret Feldmann wrote that the exact week day has not yet been decided, but that it wouldeither be Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

Council members directed staff to write a response thanking the institute for letting them know and wishing the institute good luck with the market.