From old growth forests to a long-standing interest in a highway corridor to an old schoolhouse and water in Anaconda, directors on the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) board tied up plenty of loose ends at their final meeting of 2021.
As well, the board reminds locals that the McKelvey Creek Landfill in Trail will be closed several days over Christmas. The holiday schedule is as follows: Dec 24, and Dec. 27 to Dec. 31, the landfill is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the landfill is closed Christmas day, Boxing Day and Jan. 1.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. via Zoom.
Old growth deferral
Representatives from the Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association (ILMA) spoke to the board regarding impacts of the provincial government’s old growth deferral. The delegation stated that 70,000 ha of approved cutting permits in the region will be affected by the temporary pause on harvest and development planning. Representatives voiced concerns that the deferral could be debilitating for the many ILMA members and their employees who live and work in the RDKB. The board agreed to request a meeting with Minister Katrine Conroy to discuss the old growth deferral and its effects on regional district communities and residents.
The board agreed to send a letter of support to the Trails to the Boundary Society to accompany its application to Heritage BC for a grant to conserve an old Kettle Valley schoolhouse. Grant money will fund architectural and engineering fees for the renovation of the historic building. Located in Rock Creek, the old Kettle Valley Schoolhouse is a one-room building originally constructed in 1910 by W.A. Shillcock on land donated by Major Glossop of the Kettle Valley Irrigated Fruits Co. The school was expanded and renovated in 1922. While the building officially closed as a school in 1948, it was used again briefly in the mid-1950s while expansions were underway on the newer school nearby. For decades thereafter, up until the early 1990s, the building was referred to as the Kettle Valley Clubhouse. A variety of groups and residents used it as a meeting place, or for events, and also as an outdoor rink.
The RDKB will send a letter to the province requesting information about the condition and future of the Waneta Bridge and the north-south transportation corridor connecting Washington State to the Trans-Canada Highway. The regional district says it’s concerned about future economic growth of this region but notes it’s witnessing continued interest in businesses moving to the area. “A long-term need for improved transportation networks to our border has been identified,” the RDKB states. Currently, much of the heavy-goods traffic through the Lower Columbia leaves the valley and travels up through Rossland to return downhill to the Paterson border crossing. “The board is concerned about safety on the highways, especially in winter conditions; further, all traffic passes directly through the busy downtown core of Rossland and through elementary school zones,” the RDKB states. “Environmental improvements can also be realized if major commercial traffic has an alternate option, significantly reducing the vehicle emissions associated with road climbs to and from the border.”
The board consented for the City of Greenwood to continue supplying water and undertaking maintenance and repair of the water line that serves 49 homes in Anaconda. Greenwood will be able to enter into contracts with water users for cost recovery associated with the supply, maintenance, and repair of Anaconda water distribution.
Beaverdell tax bump
The board adopted a change to the Beaverdell Community Club Service Establishment bylaw. The amendment raises the amount of money that can be requisitioned annually by 25 per cent, enabling the service to raise and access more funds.