MP David Wilks put in a $5 billion request to twin the Trans-Canada through the national parks in his riding, he told council.
“That cost, so that everyone knows, is the cost just to do twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway through the national parks, not including any provincial portion of the highway,” he said.
He said twinning the highway through Yoho National Park would cost $1 billion, Glacier National Park would cost $2.5 billion and Mount Revelstoke National Park would cost $800-900 million.
Those are 2012 dollars.
“What I have impressed upon the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance is that every year we wait, it will cost more,” he said.
Last year, $50 million was spent paving sections of the highway and upgrading bridges through the national parks, said Wilks, and the snowsheds east of Rogers Pass are expected to be lit this year.
“(The Trans-Canada) is my number one priority bar non in my whole constituency,” he told council.
Big competition for infrastructure grant
Revelstoke is facing tough competition for infrastructure grants, MP David Wilks advised council.
Wilks was in Revelstoke to talk to council about the Small Communities Grant, which is a federal-provincial infrastructure fund for all communities under 100,000 people.
“The challenge is it’s a $1 billion fund,” he said. “$1 billion doesn’t go too far when you consider all the communities that are eligible.”
Revelstoke has applied for funding for the $5.7 million needed to upgrade the Big Eddy Waterworks.
More than $60 million in applications has been made in the Kootenay-Columbia riding alone, Wilks said.
That includes $30 million for a waste water treatment plant in Kimberley, $13 million for road upgrades in Cranbrook, $8 million for a water main in Creston, and many other infrastructure projects in communities throughout the riding.
“I will do my best to move these forward,” he said. “What I suggest and what I told all the communities is that staff move forward with their applications, and that you give us knowledge of what they are so we ca follow them through the system.”
Council rejects vacation rental application
A proposed vacation rental in Upper Arrow Heights was rejected by council after unanimous opposition from neighbours.
“After reading the letters from the neighbours and presentations from the owners, I don’t feel they have sufficient space for parking and also they are not going with what they said they would do with the neighbourhood,” said coun. Gary Sulz.
The application was from a property at 1766 Biatecki Road. At a public hearing on Jan. 27, neighbours opposed the application, both in writing and in person.
“I’m all for vacation rentals if they’re good for the community and they’re good for the location,” said coun. Connie Brothers. “Most of the complaints seem to be dealing with an enforcement issues. I don’t think I can support this given the letters that are submitted.”
Couns. Aaron Orlando and Linda Nixon, and Mayor Mark McKee also voted against the application.
“The number one message for vacation rental is it acceptable to the neighbourhood. Is it meeting the bylaw?” said McKee. “Vacation rentals have to respectful of the neighbourhood and for that reason I’m voting against this application as well.”
Meanwhile, a public hearing was held for an application for 817 Silver Ave. Council received a letter from Bruce Allen and Eileen Fletcher asking that encroachment and access issues are addressed before approving the application.
An application for a vacation rental at 2077 Mountain Gate Road was adopted by council.
MVE heritage designation proceeds
Council gave first and second reading to a bylaw that would give heritage designation to Mountain View Elementary.
The Revelstoke School District applied for the designation following public consultation. It removed additions to the school in the fall and only the original building remains on the site.
A public hearing will be held in council chambers on Tuesday, Mar. 10 at 2:30 p.m.
David Raven removed from RCFC board
Council voted to remove former Mayor David Raven from the board of the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation.
Raven was on the board in his capacity of mayor, but his removal was questioned by the Times Review given his many decades of experience in the forest industry.
Mayor Mark McKee said the decision was because of the policies that govern the makeup of the board. According to the policy, the seven-member board must include four members of council or city staff, and three members of the public. The public members currently include Geoff Battersby, Loni Parker and Jim Blake.
Budget deliberations begin Friday
Revelstoke council will hold its first budget meeting in council chambers this Friday, Feb. 20, at 3 p.m.
A second special budget meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 3. Council hopes to approve the plan at a special meeting on Thursday, Apr. 9.
The budget process was delayed when Graham Inglis, the city’s director of finance, fell ill earlier this month.