The Sparwood polling station is located at the curling rink. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Word on the street – biggest issues for Sparwood voters

We quiz voters on the big issues in Sparwood on general voting day

Sparwood voters want to see the new council take more action on airborne dust stemming from a nearby coal mine.

The Free Press headed to the polling station on general voting day to find out what local electors thought were the biggest issues in Sparwood.

Dust was the first word on many residents’ lips.

Ron McIntyre, 54, would like to see the District working with Teck on the issue.

“My house is filthy dirty, everything is filthy dirty,” he said.

“I know we live in coal town so it’s par for the course but I think Teck could probably do a little bit more than they’re doing.”

David and Barb Endicott were also concerned about dust triggered by blasts and other mining activity at Elkview Operations.

“I think they just need to have more testing stations within the town limits, just to have more information,” said David.

“In the playground, we’ve taken our grandkids over there to play and they go down the slide, and they get off and they’ve got black hands. It’s just not very nice.”

“And that never used to happen here,” added Barb.

The long-term residents also want more information on air quality.

“They should also be testing to see what’s in the air from the dust because it’s getting pretty concerning around here,” said Barb.

“We’ve lived here our whole life and the dust has not been as bad as it has been in the last year. I know that’s partly because the mountain is coming down but I think the District needs to work with Teck to have some open dialogue about what’s in the dust that we’re breathing in.”

Barb would also like to see a new school built and Teck offices being opened up to other businesses.

“…and maybe work with the mall to lower the prices of rent in there,” she said.

“I know somebody who just had to move out because the price is too high to have a local business in there.”

For young mom Brooke Tallman, seeing the Whiskey Jack golf course to completion is a priority.

“It seems like it’s a mess,” she said.

“They keep on promising that there’s going to be a golf course there and they charge strata fees and they’re building homes not to building codes, so there’s problems with them, and yet still no golf course, not even one hole.

“That’s why it’s important to me because it’s part of the community.”

The 35-year-old was otherwise happy with the past council’s performance and welcomed the opening of new recreation facilities, such as the skate park.

The Sparwood polling station is open until 8 p.m. tonight and located at the Henry Volkmann Memorial Complex (leisure centre), curling rink concourse, 367 Pine Ave.

After the polls close, the votes will be counted and announced via Civic Info BC and The Free Press.

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Sparwood voter Ron McIntyre. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Long-term residents Barb and David Endicott are concerned about dust control. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

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