A helicopter staging area and affordable housing are Patrick Mackle’s top priorities in his campaign for Kaslo mayor.
Mackle previously served as a Kaslo alderman from 1990 to 1993 and mayor from 1993 to 1996. He’s running against incumbent Suzan Hewat and challenger Andy Shadrack.
Mackle said he wants a staging area built in the village that could be used by helicopters leaving Nelson to fight wildfires.
“I worry about a Fort McMurray style of fire behind Kaslo,” he said. “If we get a fire here, there’s only one slough on that hillside. The most effective way of putting out a fire is water. If you have a helicopter on it in a couple hours then you can control it.”
A proposed recreational tenure joint bid by Retallack and the Lower Kootenay Band, Mackle said, could also bring more people and jobs to the village.
Mackle said he’s neutral on the proposal for a 700-square-kilometre tenure south of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy that will include activities such as heli-skiing, ski touring and mountain biking.
But if the application is approved, Mackle wants the village prepared.
“These changes could affect Kaslo because there will be more people in the area,” said Mackle. “That will increase employment and that may impact on the housing, there might be some potential for developing housing.
“I think with my background I’m innovative to adapt to the changes.”