Affordable housing project funds okayed

Condensed stories from the Nov. 13 city council meeting, and general civic affairs

Canoe Forest Products sells to Downie Street Owners

Revelstoke Mayor David Raven was thrilled to report that the Gorman family, owners of the Downie Street Sawmills, have completed their purchase of the Canoe Forest Products Mill near Salmon Arm. “This is excellent news for Revelstoke for many reasons,” said Raven. The result? More timber supply for Revelstoke; it also means a likely closure of parts of the operations in the Salmon Arm area.

City, CSRD flat footed on Begbie Bench

City Hall and the CSRD Area B director Loni Parker were playing catch up on Stella-Jones’ plans to log in the Begbie Bench area (see page 1 for more). Despite the fact that the Times Review published a story on the plans in May of this year, both seemed caught on the back foot last week. Loni Parker mounted a last-minute campaign to oppose the logging, while the city’s economic development department red-flagged the plans over conflict with recreation values. City council decided to monitor the situation.

If you heard about this issue months ago and wanted local government attention, would you know what to do? Letters to council are increasingly becoming a lost art, which is unfortunate. Just send an email addressed to Revelstoke City Council to City Hall expressing your view on an issue and ask for action. You may not get what you want, but it will force their hand on the matter.

Transportation Ministry wants travellers to drive past Revelstoke?

Well, that’s the impression the city’s planning department has of a Ministry of Transportation plan for the Trans-Canada at Revelstoke. City planning director John Guenther explained the city is not happy with the Ministry’s proposal, so they’ve been sitting on it for months. The problem? It’s a big, efficient concrete thing that focuses on moving vehicles past here quickly – which isn’t ideal from a tourism perspective. The plan is still on the planning director’s desk. It won’t likely surface until the city’s Transportation Plan gets going again early next year – after the new engineering director gets a look.

Petro-Canada plans include 50-seat restaurant

City planning director John Guenther reports the old Petro Canada site at the highway is scheduled to be redeveloped in the spring, with three gas bars and a 50-seat restaurant.

Hotel traffic assessed

Word from the planning department is the consultants who visited recently to assess visitor traffic potential for a proposed hotel at the Revelstoke Crossing went away with positive numbers.

Illegal rentals, secondary suites, vacation rentals meeting

The city will host a pretty broad-ranging meeting on vacation rentals, secondary suites, renovations, illegal suites on Dec. 5 from 7–9:30 p.m. at the community centre. It’s for people interested in renovating, putting in a suite, starting a bed & breakfast or dealing with illegal suite issues.

Unified Development Bylaw update

The Unified Development Bylaw should be back for council review sometime in the new year. It’s much delayed, mostly because it came back from the consultant too Americanized, city planning director John Guenther told the Times Review. City staff have been working to adjust it and make it more appropriate for debate. I did a double-take when Guenther told a recent Planning, Building & Bylaw Committee meeting, but apparently there’s a possibility the UDB might not get adopted at all. It requires lots of sign-offs from various departments and authorities. Compound this with the fact the UDB is being pioneered in Canada here in Revelstoke. The result is it’s not a done deal.

ICSP open house

The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan process garnered 797 responses on their recent community survey. That’s a lot. The big public input session is Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the Community Centre from 4–9 p.m.

Free transit rides

The city will let you ride the Revelstoke Transit Service buses for free from Dec. 10–31. The new three-route bus system starts on Dec. 10. The idea is to promote the new system.

Wino licence extension okayed

Council has okayed a request from Wino Wine Bar at RMR to extend their liquor licence hours to 2 a.m., adding one- or two-hours onto the licence depending on the day of the week. The consultation process saw next to no public feedback. The city doesn’t have final say, but their endorsement means a great deal to provincial liquor regulators who do decide.

Kovach Park seniors recreation equipment coming

Kovach Park is set to get several workout stations designed for seniors, provided the city’s successful in landing a $20,000 grant from UBCM. City Parks, Recreation & Culture director Laurie Donato told council the total price tag will be about $60,000, and a private donation is also expected. A new washroom facility for the park is on the city’s capital plan for 2013, but that depends on the budget process.

Parks department installing $45,000 booking system

Signing up for yoga class or swimming lessons? The city’s parks & rec department is installing a new online booking system called ActiveNet that will streamline the booking process. It’s not the same system that was shot down in the 2011 budget process. That system cost $75,000. “The software will really streamline the administration process at the RCC front desk,” Donato said. “It will also allow us to process on line registrations.”

The city is installing a fibre-optic line at the community centre, which will enable the new system.

$3.5 million affordable housing deal almost done

City council signed over $96,000 to the Revelstoke Community Housing Society (RCHS) to help fund a $3.5 million affordable rental housing project on the Bridge Creek Properties on Oscar Street. The RCHS is applying for $2 million from BC Housing at the Columbia Basin Trust to develop the $3.5 million project.

The city money comes from an affordable housing fund. The city is also donating land with an estimated $750,000 value for the project.

City economic development director Alan Mason told city council the application for grant funding would be completed last week.

 

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