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Kaslo council roundup: Moyie Beach dock to be extended

All the news from the Feb. 26 meeting
Kaslo. File photo

by John Boivin

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

Kaslo council approved spending about $14,000 to purchase an extension to the Moyie Beach dock to improve public safety and swim experience at its Feb. 26 meeting.

“Last year, several citizens raised concerns about the safety of the Moyie Beach swim dock as users were able to tilt the dock up out of the water,” noted a report from staff. “The dock was taken out due to the safety concerns, as someone could be hit by the dock if they are under it when it comes back down.”

Speaking with the manufacturer, staff were told a 16-foot extension would solve the tipping problem and make the platform more stable. Otherwise, the dock is in good shape, the report noted.

The dock will cost about $11,500 and installation $2,500. The money will come from reserves and not affect taxation this year.

Public Works usually installs the dock in mid-June and removes it at the beginning of September.

More Kaslo River dike work

The Village is going to take up a contractor’s offer to do some extra work on the Kaslo River Dike project.

Brenton Industries is working on phase one of the project to restore and repair sections of the Kaslo River bank to reduce the hazards from flooding. With that work proceeding well, the contractor approached chief administrative officer Ian Dunlop with the suggestion it continue working on the project this spring, completing a bit more than originally planned.

The contractor says it could do a portion of phase two of the project for about $37,600.

“It seems like a very reasonable cost,” said Dunlop. “Certainly [the contractor] has learned a lot from working on the other two areas, so there’s been some cost saving there.”

The Village will also supply the materials, engineering design and oversight and environmental monitoring.

With the project constantly facing regulatory and financial pressures (it’s had to be broken up into about six parts to make it affordable), Dunlop suggested council jump at the chance to get ahead of the game a little.

“This is a timely opportunity to get at least part of the phase two work done for a very good price,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for well over five years now through planning, design and permitting … so to be able to get another section done before freshet this spring, first of all provides peace of mind and it keeps us moving forward on this project.”

The money to pay for the project will come from a grant council received last year for the work.

Mayor Suzan Hewat, who does work for Brenton, declared a conflict and removed herself from the discussion and vote.

Municipal grants

The first round of municipal grants were approved by council. Eight community groups and activities received $500 each, including the baseball association, car show organizers, community acupuncture society, concert society, iDIDaRide, Kaslo youth council, and trails society. The Village will also provide a $400 bursary for a J.V. Humphries grad.

The Village gives about $5,000 in municipal grants annually, and it’s a popular program. Applications from community groups totalled more than $9,000 this year.

Not all the grant money was allocated at this meeting. The last $1,100 will be dispersed next council meeting. The money for the grants comes from the RDCK Community Development Fund.

Insurance coverage for community groups

The Village says it will allow community groups to be covered under its insurance policy – if they meet certain requirements.

Council adopted a policy allowing community groups to be associate members under the Village’s policy with the Municipal Insurance Association of BC. Several local groups – including the community garden, trails society and historical society are already associate members.

But several other groups have asked to join, which would gain them considerable savings on their insurance rates. So council developed a policy to make the system for choosing who’s eligible or not a fair and open one. It also helps manage the kind of risk they take by allowing a group to be covered by its insurance (since any claim would reflect on the Village’s policy).

Under the new policy, any group that wants to become an associate member must:

• be delivering a service on behalf of the Village under a service agreement;

• have open membership and deliver programs open to the public;

• be in good standing with the Village, and provincial or federal regulators;

• adhere to Village policies and practises; and

• not collect private information from participants except basic contact information.

If the group passes those requirements, it can apply to the Village and MIABC for membership. Final approvals will be made by council resolution.

Applicants will also be responsible for paying the premium for the membership.

Public showers

Should the Village build public showers downtown? That’s a suggestion offered by Jen Diosy of Kaslo Community Services. The social worker wrote to council, saying it was too bad the concept wasn’t included with the new public washrooms installed in Front Street Park last year.

“I share this request with a lens on the support I offer many Kaslo community members, who struggle with their mental health or substance use, and who can be experiencing homelessness or be precariously housed,” Diosy wrote. “A lack of access to basic hygiene practices – like the ability to take a shower – can have an immense impact on a person.”

Dunlop told council that Community Services was looking at major renovations at the moment, and that might be the best location for such a project. He said staff could look into how the Village might best support an initiative like that.

Council received the email as information.

Mayor endorsed

Council endorsed Hewat’s bid to sit on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ board of directors. Hewat, who has been an active member of the national municipal organization for several years, is running for office at the FCM convention later this spring.

Her run has already received endorsement from the RDCK board. Supporting her candidacy will mean “Hewat will have the opportunity to advocate for the needs of small communities like Kaslo on the national stage,” staff noted in a report.

Hewat’s travel and associated costs of being on the FCM executive are covered by that organization.