At their most recent meeting held on February 4, the District of Sparwood Council deliberated topics ranging from BC’s Active Transportation Grant to RCMP policing priorities.
In terms of delegations, Teck’s Castle Project at Fording River Operations (FRO) was outlined by Nic Milligan, Teck’s manager of social responsibility. Soon to become FRO’s main source of coal while sustaining current production rates, the Castle Project is an addition to current operations. Set to conduct the Environmental Assessment procedure in the upcoming months, this project is still in its pre-feasibility design stage.
In terms of changes to bylaws, the Revenue Anticipation Borrowing Bylaw 1264, 2019 was adopted, allowing for an operating line of credit in 2020 if needed. Though an overdraft has not been encountered for a number of years, the potential for one remains in the event that transfers from investments see delays.
The Upper Elk Valley Fire Protection Services Authorization Bylaw 1265, 2020 also saw approval in Tuesday’s meeting. This bylaw allows for fire protection services to extend to the Upper Elk Valley Fire Protection Services Area.
Council also authorized submitting an application for BC’s Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant, worth $500,000 at 70 per cent funding, in an effort to construct a walkway along Michel Creek Road. To accompany this grant application, council approved an increase in the 2020 budget for the District portion of this project, raising it from $70,000 to $215,000.
At the council meeting, the District of Sparwood Elk Valley RCMP Detachment policing priorities for 2020/21 were also discussed. Traffic and visibility were elected priority, with special attention to impaired driving, aggressive driving, and speeding. Crime reduction is also a focus, with emphasis on chronic prolific offenders. Lastly, the RCMP seeks to invest efforts in youth through school involvement in the form of presentations, talks, and speaking to students in hallways.
Another topic discussed at the meeting was support for additional workforce positions, including one public works labour position and one recreation maintenance position. Conversation was also initiated about Sparwood’s 2030 Recreation Master Plan, wherein a progress report was received from Upland Planning and Design and the REConsulting group. The next step in the project is an evaluation of community opinion alongside the current state of parks and recreation in Sparwood.
Lastly, council approved advertising of the disposition of certain properties to Shaw Cablesystems Ltd. for Shaw Go Wifi telecommunications equipment.
Additionally, residents are reminded to licence their dogs if they are nine months or older, to renew their 2020 Business Licenses, and to be aware of snow removal efforts and park cars accordingly.