Spring a busy time for Nelson council

I’m coming to the end of the long weekend as I write this and it’s been a good one, full of activities in and out of Nelson.

I’m coming to the end of the long weekend as I write this and it’s been a good one, full of activities in and out of Nelson. I’ve bought flowers and bedding plants in various greenhouses, went to Lucas Myers’ production in Ymir and even had time for a round of golf. It’s the time of year when people are ready to get out and participate in community and there are upcoming events of interest for everyone.

The next round of community consultations regarding the Columbia River Treaty are coming up at the end of this month. Many of you attended the fall sessions sponsored by your local government when we partnered with the Columbia Basin Trust to take its educational show on the road. We answered questions and collected your feedback about what could happen in 2014. This time round, the provincial government will join CBT and local governments to provide their perspective and to answer your questions on their plans for treaty discussions with the United States. These events will also provide an opportunity to answer the questions you had in the first round. West Kootenay events will be held in Creston on May 30, Nakusp on June 5 and Castlegar on June 6. Sessions will begin with an open house at 3 p.m., followed by a free dinner, then presentations by the province. As the dates for possible negotiations draw nearer, your elected representatives want to know what issues are most important to you. Your participation is needed and welcomed.

In a time when many businesses in other communities are facing crises, Nelson is moving forward with confidence into a bright future.

Council and staff recently met to strike a committee to put the downtown and waterfront master plan into action. councillor Robin Cherbo and I will lead the Hall and Baker streets plans while councillor Candace Batycki and Mayor John Dooley take on Rail Town. In this first phase we’ll be working with the business sector and the larger community to initiate projects around improvements to Hall street, the gazebo at the Prestige Inn, the farmers market, the CP stationhouse and lights on Baker street. This work is coinciding with the Kootenay Co-op store’s plan for renovation and expansion and the work of other business owners in the downtown core. Many of you have approached me with ideas, and I’ll be looking forward to working with you over the coming months to make these plans a reality.

Council recently directed staff to explore restructuring the Heritage and Advisory Planning Commissions. There have been concerns raised that this will mean the end of the important role that these commissions have played in restoring and protecting important heritage sites in our community. In giving the go ahead to this work, council is clear that heritage will continue to be a keystone piece in the future of our community. The intent is to improve communication between the community, council, and its commissions and to ensure we are using an integrated approach in decision making. If you have ideas or concerns about the future of these groups, do contact us.

Now, it’s back to the garden.


Deb Kozak is a Nelson city councillor who shares this space with her colleagues around the table

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