A handful of local residents were at the District of Invermere’s Tuesday, April 11th council meeting to glean more information about the progress on the Columbia Valley’s new multi-use centre.
Invermere mayor Gerry Taft told them the district is still in negotiations with the contractors who bid on the construction work of the centre, which ideally had been meant to start this spring.
“It’s still ongoing. We don’t have a decision yet. Our staff are meeting with an architect tomorrow,” said Taft.
Resident Helen Kipp asked if there was an advantage to waiting, such as another grant that could be applied for in the meantime.
“We’re not delaying to find more money; we are delaying to sort out sometechnical details,” responded Taft, adding that all six bids on the work had come in much higher than expected, and that the district was negotiating to see if building costs could be lowered by swapping out materials.
“We’re still optimistic we can see construction start this spring,” he said.
“We’re just trying to see what contract can be signed and what the details of it are.”
Taft add that the district and council are hopeful the negotiating will come to a successful conclusion relatively soon.
Return of municipal cleanup eyed
The possibility of re-introducing an official town cleanup in Invermere is on the books.
While resolving to authorize the annual volunteer-organized Pitch In/Valley Pride clean-up event, Counl. Al Miller pointed out that there also used to be a municipal-run cleanup each year. “Our town does get messy in the spring,” said Miller. “What happened to that spring cleanup?”
Invermere mayor Gerry Taft responded that the initiative, whereby district staff drove around to individual residents to pick up waste typically associated with spring cleaning, had been cancelled a few years ago.
“We found there was a real decline in usage,” said Invermere chief administrative officer Chris Prosser.
He explained the cleanup had been a five-day long event at one point before it was cut down to three days, and in the final year it took place, just 20 households were bothering to put their clean-up waste out on their curb.
Taft added that it’s an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars to have staff spend three days driving up and down each street in Invermere just to pick up 20 homes’ worth of waste.
“Can we bring it back for a discussion at a Committee of the Whole meeting?” asked Miller.
Prosser replied that the topic could be revisited by council during budget discussions for next year.