It was a lively council meeting at the Village of Radium Hot Springs on Wednesday, April 12th as councillors met to discuss the RCMP report, projects in the Valley, and an upcoming event in the community.
Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck from the RCMP detachment gave the council a presentation on statistics in the area as well as a detachment update. Calls for service in the Valley have increased to 633 in the first three months of the year, in 2016 calls for service over the same perioed were at 611. In Radium the community had 91 calls for service, RCMP had an increase of five impaired driving investigations for the community. Sgt. Vatamaniuck attributes that to an increase in enforcement from the RCMP detachment. Councillor Mike Gray asked if there’s anything the business community could do to reduce impaired driving issues. Sgt. Vatamaniuk suggested putting up posters to increase awareness that RCMP are actively enforcing it.
The local detachment has been working hard on increasing visibility within the community, even receiving $11,000 in provincial funding to allow members to get out in the community. This included sending members to the ski resorts and on snowmobiling days on local trails. Sgt. Vatamaniuk said those initiatives were really well received by the community.
Going into the summer season the detachment will have some staffing changes with members transferring in and out of the detachment, adding two cadets to the team this summer and another young member to replace to veterans that are leaving the detachment. Councillor Gray raised some concerns that the community is losing three veterans and getting three rookies and asked about additional support.
“Those cadets, for a lack of better words, are married to a veteran for the first few months,” said Sgt. Vatamaniuck.
He said they’re young, energetic and eager to work, and will work closely with their veteran before heading out alone.
“Even at peak season we are still in good shape,” said Mayor Clara Reinhardt, referring to lower numbers of RCMP officers working throughout the community, and calming concerns about staffing for the summer season.
Councillor Ron Verboom attended the RDEK board meeting where they discussed amending the public hearing process, allowing for a public information meeting a month prior to public hearings. There was no resolution to that suggestion and it will be continued to be discussed.
The Old Coach trail may be getting some improvements after Verboom raised concerns over the lack of basic necessities at the trailhead.
“Old Coach trailhead has no garbage facilities, no picnic tables… these are basic necessities of a park,” said Verboom.
The RDEK is looking at getting garbages similar to the ones in the Village of Radium at various trailheads including Old Coach.
Council decided on a date for their annual spring cleanup that will happen on earth day April 22nd aligning with other community cleanups in the Valley.