RCMP commits to more visibility in Radium

Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck committed to increasing the visibility of the police force within the Village of Radium Hot Springs.

At the recent town council meeting held in the Village of Radium Hot Springs, Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck was on hand to discuss a number of issues that pertained to the Village area.

Similar to his report to Invermere council two weeks earlier, Sgt. Vatamaniuck stressed the importance of increasing visibility of police presence within the Village and mentioned practices such as refueling the police cruisers in Radium as a possible way to ensure that police will always be checking in on the village.

After delivering his report, newly appointed councilor Mike Gray presented several concerns to the Sgt regarding the drug market in the local area, specifically marijuana legalization and the possibility that the local Columbia Valley RCMP area ready for that.

Sgt. Vatamaniuck said that the local RCMP detachment has been kept in the dark along with the rest of Canada in terms of what the federal government’s plans are to legalize or decriminalize the currently controlled substance in the future.

“I think one of the major hurdles is what are we going to do if and when it is legalized and we find someone impaired driving,” Vatamaniuck said. “Right now we have drug recognition experts but there’s just a handful in the province and none at the detachment so that’s going to be a huge hurdle for the federal government and criminal code to somehow circumvent that and prosecute that.”

Water Smart

Council also determined that they will be going forward on the continuation of its Water Smart program if and when they are able to determine that they have the funding and staff to continue the program.

“I think it’s an excellent program,” chief administrative officer Mark Read said. “My only concern is that council needs to realize that this program is supported with $10,000 in funding in the past, a dedicated staff person and a dedicated engineer. I think we should adopt it but my recommendation would be that it be conditional by staff capacity and financial capability.”

The Village of Radium Hot Springs originally entered the Water Smart program in 2010 with a target to reduce community wide water demand by 20 per cent per capita based on permanent population counts and 2009 baseline flows. As of December 31, 2014, the Village had experienced a total demand increase of eight per cent total and per capita from the 2012 baseline year.

Pushing forward on their action plan that goes from 2015 to 2020, the Village has goals of continuing to enhance the quality and effectiveness of available water data, implement water loss management best practices as an operational norm, evaluating and implementing strategies to mitigate peak demand and utilizing stream flow data to monitor and enhance climate change resilience.

Electric Car Charging

Radium Hot Springs will be getting a level three charging station for electric cars to be installed prior to this summer thanks to an initiative by the Community Energy Association.

Members of the association will be consulting with the Village before the end of February to determine the location for this charging station with others to be installed across the East Kootenays as well.

“The biggest impact that this is going to have on us is that there are people who are planning their trips around charging stations and there is a charging station around Banff and Lake Louise and I think Golden is getting one through this initiative so people can do the golden triangle with an electric car from Calgary,” mayor Clara Reinhardt said. “Also there will be one in Cranbrook so people can come up from the US and circuit this area. We’re anticipating that we will see a small little blip in new type of tourism.”