The Village of Radium Hot Springs Annual 2015 Annual Report is now posted at radiumhotsprings.ca. Knowing that not everyone has the time to go and review it, I thought I would share some of the highlights of progress made towards achieving our 2014 objectives:
• The district water metering project, the Madsen Road water booster station replacement and the Whiskey Jack sewage lift station replacement have been completed as of spring 2015. The combined value of these improvements is $820,000.
• An ungulate safety policy was developed and council has started to discuss management options with respect to mule deer and bighorn sheep. A public education forum was held in the fall to improve public safety and knowledge, and we have been working with the provincial government to improve the tools available to us to mitigate ungulate issues. Funding applications were submitted to initiate research trials so as to help maintain bighorn sheep migratory behaviour.
• An interim signage policy was adopted, which allowed sandwich board signage and which clarified the process for seeking approval of prohibited signage. Five development permits for signage were issued in 2014, which included approvals for back-lit signage.
• A preliminary decision has been made to construct a new multi-use “community hall” facility. A financial and implementation plan will be formulated in 2015.
• The Village continues to partner with Canfor on the Community Advisory Committee to seek and implement actions that mitigate issues arising from Canfor operations.
• 2014 saw the introduction of two new shoulder season events: the “Golden Larch Artists Retreat” and “Bighorn Sheep Festival.” These events will continue in 2015.
• The evaluation of existing road conditions resulted in a six-year plan for upgrades and repairs estimated at over $700,000.
• The sidewalk and pedestrian transportation plan to prioritize future pathway development has yet to be completed. Planning for an extension of the Sinclair Creek trail network will begin in 2015.
• Discussions with Parks Canada to improve pedestrian connectivity (sidewalks and street lighting) between the Village and the hot springs are ongoing.
• A citizen advisory group was established to review Council remuneration. The recommendations were implemented effective January 1st, 2015.
• An interface wildfire mitigation project, focused on protecting our water treatment plant infrastructure, is proceeding in 2015. The value of these works is $260,000.
Clara Reinhardt is the mayor of the Village of Radium Hot Springs and a Regional District of East Kootenay director for the Columbia Valley.