Kaslo Village Hall. File photo

Kaslo Village Hall. File photo

Kaslo council roundup: Details provided on proposed wastewater treatment project

All the news from the June 28 meeting

by John Boivin

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

Kaslo Council saw more details about a major upgrade planned to the Village’s wastewater treatment plant during its June 28 meeting. City leaders earlier voted to apply for a Union of BC Municipalities grant to pay for the bulk of the $3.1-million project.

The project would see a new pre-filtration system installed and the sludge press moved indoors (which would be “removing an eye-sore and a ‘nose-sore’ in summer months,” Dunlop commented). It would also expand the size of the building to allow for an “equalization tank” to regulate the flow into the system, which varies greatly over the course of the day.

“What’s happening now is hardly anything is going through the system overnight, and at 7 a.m. everybody is using their showers and everything just gets inundated…,” he says. “The plant just gets overwhelmed. So this will level things off.”

These improvements would make overall operation of the sewage treatment system more efficient.

“The plant has the capacity for our current growth needs, but not the way it is currently set up, it gets too much, too fast during the day,” he said. “But if you spread that out over 24 hours, we can increase our capacity by about 30 per cent.”

Council received the report as information.

Garden agreement

A new arrangement with the Village will keep the Kaslo community garden growing.

The Kaslo Community Garden Society will operate the community garden (which is on Village-owned land) without a lease, and also receive the benefit of a break on its insurance rates. The society won’t pay a lease fee, but will pay the insurance premium for their coverage – about $250 per year.

Corporate Officer Catherine Allaway explained that the lease had some provisions, recommended by the Village’s lawyers, that were problematic for the sponsoring organization (North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society). “So as the way around that, the direction from council was to find a way to reach an agreement with the group so the community garden could continue,” she said.

The Village has similar arrangements with Kootenay Lake Historical Society, the Kaslo Outdoor Recreation and Trails Society, and the Kaslo Baseball and Softball Association.

Final stamp of approval

Council put the finishing procedural touches on a couple of items from the last meeting.

Council gave a community group a Temporary Use Permit to run a campground on the South Beach as part of the Jazz Fest weekend. The Kootenay Lake Innovation Centre will provide the camping area, maintain it and clean up afterwards. They’re running it as a fundraiser for the organization, to support programs for youth. They’ll put up a $5,000 deposit.

Two leases at the aerodrome were also made official. Council expects to receive about $10,000 in rent payments and taxes from the two hangars being let out over five years.

Council adopted its election procedures bylaw for this year, in advance of the Oct. 15 vote. The biggest change is an emphasis on mail-in balloting in lieu of special polls, which won’t be held this year in care homes and other facilities with shut-ins.

SOFI report

Council approved the Village’s Statement of Financial Information report for 2022.

The report offers a high-level view of the Village’s finances, from reserves to spending practices to salaries. It’s that last one that always attracts interest. The report says the Village pays out a little over $647,000 annually in salaries.

Only two staff make over $75,000 – the CAO makes just over $103,000, while the public works manager earns $79,100.