By Scott Duke, Revelstoke councillor
A busy summer continues around the council table for the City of Revelstoke. During the summer months, most municipalities ratchet their council meetings back by half, put their legs up, and enjoy the calm of a reduced work load. Not our new team.
It is business as usual and we are pushing through as much work as possible thanks to our dedicated staff and management. Below are some highlights of the last month, and items that are coming up in the near future. I have been requested with this article to lean more heavily on planning and development as that is my portfolio.
Nichol Road Development: This development has had first hearing and an open house. During the open house attendents submitted comments and suggestions. As a result of these comments staff and council requested extra engineering and impact reports. Council is waiting on the last of these reports before the development proposal comes back to our table and it is scheduled for a formal public hearing.
Golf Course: The city and the golf club are working with Citrus Capital Partners to negotiate a lease agreement that will be mutually beneficial. All parties are excited about the prospect of rejuvenating the golf course and we hope to have an official agreement in the near future.
Big Eddy Waterworks: If you have not heard, Revelstoke received $3.6 million from the provincial and federal governments through the Building Canada Fund to address the current fire flow and water security concerns in the Big Eddy. This is a huge win for the town and the residents of the Big Eddy. Thanks to the staff for all their hard work on putting the proposal together. Not every community was as fortunate, as the Building Canada Funds are limited. Next steps on this project will be announced soon.
Ongoing Construction: The new Mt. Begbie Brewery is currently under construction and they are hoping to be operating out of the new facility soon. Petro Canada has broken ground and the development can be watched over the next few months. We owe a thank you to the developers for their large contribution to the fund that will help fix the ongoing traffic congestion at the Mutas Road intersection. In addition, this summer we are seeing more building permits issued for new home builds and renovations, compared to the last five years. Thank you to the development team, who are working extra hard to handle the increased work load. And thank you to the community for building and investing in your town.
Tree House Hotel: There is a proposed boutique tree house hotel looking to develop at the base of the ski hill. There has been a request to annex the proposed site into the city boundary, so the development can be serviced. The city is currently conducting an alternative approval process to gain the approval of the electors as required by the province. (ed.: An alternative approval process means 10 per cent of electors must formally oppose the application in order to force a referendum.) Complete information on this development is available upstairs at city hall in administration. Council encourages the residents of Revelstoke to watch for public notices with respect to developments. If you have something to comment on this or any development, council looks forward to receiving it.
Schools: There is currently no new movement on the old school properties that I am aware of. If you know of investors or would like to develop these prime lands, contact Alan Mason our head of economic development.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort: Council is working diligently to strengthen the relationship with RMR and Northland Properties. Northland is currently working on some large and exciting projects for next summer and this winter. Council and staff are working on creative ideas to make these and future development of the lands a reality.
Outside of direct development, council has been having budget meetings with every department one-on-one. The financial focus group has also been attending these meetings and the public is always welcome. The purpose is to drill down and figure out if there are any savings for the taxpayers in this upcoming budget cycle.
We are also still dedicated to getting our 2016 budget out in record time, so all departments have clear targets and limits starting January 1. Over September, October, November and December the new budget is going to be our highest priority.
If you have any questions or concerns, all of the new council is more than happy to listen and can be emailed at email@example.com. All our council meetings are open and everyone is always invited. We had a great public hearing turnout this past week for the zoning amendment bylaw to include hen keeping as a permitted use in single family residential zones.
Lastly, I would like to welcome our new Chief Administrative Officer, Allan Chabot, who we are more than excited to have join the team. He’s a great new addition to help staff and council move Revelstoke forward and achieve the new objectives we have set out.