Regional Rundown: Important meetings in store for Area F

This article focuses on several important initiatives that are relevant to the communities of Windermere and Fairmont Hot Springs.

This article focuses on several important initiatives that are relevant to the communities of Windermere and Fairmont Hot Springs.

The comment period for the Windermere Water Option Survey closed on Wednesday, February 12th. We received approximately 200 responses in addition to the 75 we received at the open houses in December 2013. We are in the process of compiling the data; the results will then be shared with the Utility Advisory Commission and the community. I want to thank all of you who provided input. Community consultation and feedback are very important to me.

At the December 30th information meetings, the Regional District of East Kootenay shared the results of engineering firm Kerr Wood Leidal’s investigation into the options for upgrading Windermere`s water system. The two options that were most favoured by the community at those meetings were the Fire Hall Option and the Parr Purchase Option. Following the meetings, the regional district asked Kerr Wood Leidal to prepare a report refining the costs associated with these two options. Their report, which brings more certainty to the costs of both options, has been received by the regional district board and is now available for review at .

One very important question that remains to be answered is the cost of purchasing the Parr Treatment plant. That negotiation process is continuing based primarily on the feedback we’ve received from the public and the cost information in the reports from KWL. Once a price for the Parr plant has been determined, the decision on which option to bring out to the community will be made.

There are two important upcoming meetings in March for Fairmont, taking place at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.

Over the past several years, Fairmont Hot Springs has had its share of challenges with flooding and debris slides causing damage to the community. In response to that, the regional district is looking at establishing an expanded flood control service area. If the service proceeds, it would generate funding for future flood control and landslide mitigation work along with infrastructure repair, operation and maintenance costs.

The regional district is hosting open houses on Thursday, March 13th, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with presentations at 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the meetings is to present information about the proposed expanded service area, including taxation, and seek feedback from the community.

On Monday March 31st, BC Parks is hosting a meeting to learn more about the proposed facility improvements to Columbia Lake Park. Currently the proposal includes upgrades to the road, signage, and a parking area approximately 500 to 600 metres from the lake. There is currently no vehicle access to the lake in the proposal. The open house is from 2:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with presentations at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Greg Chin at 250-489-8558,  or email him at .

Both of these meetings are important for the community and I hope to see a great turnout. For those that are unable to make it, the information for both meetings will be made available.

Wendy Booth is the Regional District of East Kootenay director for Area F.