By Donalda Beeson
During the regularly scheduled council meeting of the Village of Valemount, held on July 24, 2012 the statuses of the following village projects were updated.
Community Hall Renovations:
New linoleum has been installed and is complete. All lights have been replaced with more energy efficient lighting, and the old boiler and heating system has been replaced with a more energy efficient system. All asbestos containing material from the bathrooms has been removed and new drywall is currently being installed. New lower water use toilets will be installed once the walls are finished, including a wheelchair accessible toilet in each washroom. New countertops will be installed for the sinks, and will include a wheelchair accessible sink in each. All village work in the basement is complete, and the Children’s Activity Society will move back in when they complete some maintenance resulting from installation of the new heating system. They plan to move back in on July 24. The painting of the walls is next, followed by installation of the acoustic panels. As there are 2x4s behind the curtains which cannot be removed due to asbestos in the walls, a different style of acoustic panel was chosen. The new style can be hung from the 2x4s, and has a much higher acoustic absorption rating, so fewer panels will be required. These will be spaced around the walls with gaps in between.
Swift Creek Emergency Response:
Most of the emergency response is complete, with berms on the right bank now secure enough to easily manage the 35cm rise in water seen on Monday night during the thunderstorm and torrential downpour. Remaining is finishing building the berm up high enough at the apex of the alluvial fan, and placing gravel on top of the silty berms to secure them against rain and erosion. Also remaining is cleaning out of the wet well, which has a great deal of sediment in it, which is wearing out the pumps for the water system. This clean-out is critical to ensure a reliable water supply and water capacity in case of a fire.
Swift Creek Emergency Recovery:
Application has been made for Disaster Funding Assistance (DFA), and a plan is in the early stages of development. This plan must be filed within 90 days of approval for Valemount to apply for DFA. The village then has 18 months to complete all aspects of the plan. One piece of the Recovery plan, which cannot wait, is the clean-out of the reservoir behind the weir. This provides security for Valemount’s winter water supply as well as an area of calmer water to reduce turbidity in the water intake, but the normally three to four metre deep reservoir is now less than one metre deep. An environmental consulting company has been hired, both to meet the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) requirements, and to facilitate a speedy approval for this work with DFO and the BC Ministry of Environment. This speedy approval is required because of the small window of time left before spawning season. Additional items in recovery will include the rebuilding of the fish ladder, additional berm rebuilding, restoration of the areas where hasty roads were built to access the creek, and replanting of vegetation.
Leak into Village Office:
The leak has been repaired.
Bylaw Adjudication Process:
Valemount has been approved for inclusion in the provincial Bylaw Adjudication System. Review of tickets and priorities will help to determine how this system will be used. Some other communities that have been approved find that they use it very little or not at all, relying on the Screening Officer to resolve cases before they go to adjudication. Minister Bond of the Ministry of Justice would like to do a press release on Valemount’s inclusion in this system as a good news story. The village is working with the ministry on this.
The contract for the courthouse renovation has been awarded to Lewis Contracting. A contract will be signed shortly, and the selection of colour for the siding will be made together with the tenants on the week of July 23.
A wall has been constructed underneath the building to separate the porch from the rest of the building. The crawl space underneath was then insulated. Caulking and chinking is going to be applied between the logs to improve the insulating value of the walls. The ceiling will also be insulated. This will all be done by Public Works staff.
Village of Valemount Entrance Sign:
No bids were received for the maintenance of the entrance sign. A contractor has recently inquired and the village is waiting for a quote on this work. A second option is to have Public Works staff complete this. With all other projects planned for Public Works this summer, this is not an ideal choice.
The new logo has been formatted for letterhead. Transitioning to the new logo has begun.
Woodstove Exchange Program:
Nine applications have been received for this program, with eight approved and in the process of replacing stoves, and one still in the evaluation stage. One additional opportunity still exists if any other citizens are interested. The BC Ministry of Environment has just informed municipalities that funding is again available for 2013, so Valemount will be able to apply for funding in fall.
Accessible Doors for the Visitor Information Centre:
The federal government has recently announced a new grant program, the Community Infrastructure Improvement Program. This program has a 50 per cent matching requirement. Columbia Basin Trust has set aside funding to assist communities applying for the federal funding by providing up to half of the matching requirement and assisting communities with their applications. Valemount will be applying to this grant for several projects, including the accessible doors.