Spring is about a new start in Canal Flats

It is February and the groundhog predicted an early spring, which means new beginnings and rebirth.

It is February and the groundhog predicted an early spring, which means new beginnings and rebirth.

Canal Flats council is working very hard to adapt to the changes in the Village and we are definitely ready for new beginnings.

We are about to finalize the contract for the Economic Development/Business Liaison. In addition to the $50,000 grant from Columbia Basin Trust, the Village also received a grant from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skilled Training of $30,000 to put toward economic development. This is very exciting news and we thank both CBT and the Province for their contributions.

Council has awarded the contract for the Tilley Memorial Park upgrades.  Councillors Marie Delorme and Paul Marcil are the champions for this project and will be working with the contractor. Look for updates at upcoming Council meetings.

Councillor Karl Sterzer has been appointed to the Resident Retention and Attraction Focus Group, which has already had very successful Open Houses in Invermere and in Calgary.

At the regular Council meeting on January 11th, Council received the report from the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) case study of Canal Flats.  The report contains a Community Profile, Regional Overview, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis and several recommendations.  Some of these recommendations have already been implemented or are being presently worked on. The document is available at the Village office.

We would also like to thank the City of Cranbrook, which paid for the registration fee for Councillor Sterzer to attend the workshop, and Pacific Coastal Airlines for providing complimentary airfare.

At that same meeting, we also had a presentation by the Headwaters Arts Society, which presented us with a beautiful concept for a mural on the north wall of the Columbia Discovery Centre. We will be working with the arts society to find grant funding for this project.

The Village of Canal Flats received a big blow last year with the closing of the mill, but Council is ready to face new opportunities and challenges that will be coming our way this year.

We are optimistic that this is a new beginning for the Village and we are excited to see what the future holds.

Ute Juras is the mayor of Canal Flats and can be reached at 250-489-9070 or by e-mail at ujuras@gmail.com.