Village of Valemount news and highlights

Dianne St. Jean
Tommaso Oberti gave a brief update on the progress of the Valemount Glacier Destination resort at the November 26 Village of Valemount Council meeting. The word is that, despite the financing process taking longer than anticipated, things are on track.
Tommaso Oberti gave a brief update on the progress of the Valemount Glacier Destination resort at the November 26 Village of Valemount Council meeting. The word is that, despite the financing process taking longer than anticipated, things are on track.
Dianne St. Jean PHOTO

The Village of Valemount held its first regular council meeting since inauguration of the new Council on Tuesday, November 26.

At the meeting, two delegations were presented: Curtis Pawliuk from Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA) on the economic impact study of snowmobiling in Valemount; followed by a brief presentation on Valemount Glacier Destination Resort (VGDR) by Tommaso Oberti.

Economic Impact of Snowmobiling in Valemount

VARDA General Manager Curtis Pawliuk was pleased to present results of an economic impact study done this year; the findings of which showed that snowmobilers contributed $6.4 million dollars last season to the Valemount economy, and supported 55 jobs. The study results are based on survey questions answered by snowmobilers as well as information provided by local businesses, and can be used as a tool in support of VARDA for things such as grant applications, fundraising, and lobbying. During a separate interview, Mayor Torgerson stated, “I can’t thank VARDA enough for pursuing this study, and appreciate the cooperation from local businesses. This report also surfaces the ability to lobby in Victoria. It gives us clout.”

Valemount Glacier Destination Resort

Tommaso Oberti, on behalf of VGDR began his presentation by stating, “We expect this Mayor and Council will have a very prominent role in ribbon cutting of Valemount Glacier Destinations.” This a preamble of promise that the project is going forward, since his next statement was that the project is taking longer than anticipated in terms of financing. According to Oberti, a lot of due diligence has been necessary and a significant amount of work done since the financing process started in January. It’s been close to a year since that process began. However, he did state that they have received positive messages from Toronto (the investors) in terms of where they’re at. He also stated that they are preparing a project management plan for construction, and that the investors are mindful of the deadline in terms of the Master Development Plan opening for 2020. He also stated that they are looking at alternative scenarios re Mt. Trudeau and how that would work economically.

“We are very optimistic in where we’re at, despite the delay,” he said. His bottom line was, “We’re ready to go,” and again, they’re just waiting on word from Toronto. “These processes normally take a year or two for projects of this size,” he said.

Council Appointments

The Council appointments to Standing and Select Committees were ratified as follows:

Tourism Committee: Councillor Pearson, with Councillor Gee as alternate;
Direct Heat Use Committee: Councillor MacLean;
Economic Development Committee: Councillor Pearson;
Housing Committee: Councillor Blanchette.

Council appointments to External Boards and Committees:

VARDA Board of Directors: Mayor Torgerson;
Prince George Treaty Advisory Committee: Councillor Gee;
Robson Valley Region Marketing Initiative Steering Committee: Mayor Torgerson;
Valemount Entertainment Society: Councillor MacLean;
Trans Canada Yellowed Highway Association Liaison: Councillor Pearson, with Mayor Torgerson as alternate;
Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) of BC: Councillor Gee, with Mayor Torgerson as alternate;
Municipal Insurance Association (MIA) of BC: Councillor Blanchette, with Councillor MacLean as alternate;
Local Health Liaison (Northern Health): Councillor Blanchette;
Canoe Valley Recreation Centre Community Consultation Committee: Councillor Pearson;
Valemount and District Fire and Rescue Community Consultation Committee: Councillor Blanchette;
Columbia River Treaty Local Governments’ Committee: Councillor MacLean;
Columbia Basin Regional Advisory Committee: Councillor MacLean;
Simpcw First Nation Liaison: Councillor Gee;
Valemount Historic Society: Councillor Pearson.
Council appointments to Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel: Councillors Blanchette, MacLean and Pearson.

Clean Air Task Force

A motion was passed for a Clean Air Task Force to be initiated and a Terms of Reference drafted, with Councillors Blanchette and MacLean appointed to the Task Force.

BC Hydro Electrical Vehicle Charging Station

A motion was passed for an adequate parking area to be made available to BC Hydro at the proposed location (Dogwood Street between 4th and 5th Avenues) for the installation of an electric vehicle fast charging station, and that the fence line on Dogwood Street be moved further west to accommodate this.

Retail Sale of Cannabis

A motion was passed for a Committee of the Whole meeting to be scheduled (no later than December 5) in order to discuss regulation and licensing for retail cannabis sales in the Village of Valemount.