Keremeos council agrees to hire new employee in public works

Preliminary budget for 2012 reviewed in final regular meeting of the year



Keremeos new council dealt with its first irate citizen after a presentation by delegate Nathan Goltz at the last regular council meeting of the year on Dec.19.

Goltz presented his case for his request to council to allow him to use a shipping container located on his property at 419 – Third Ave. for a storage shed. He described the structure as not being a shipping container, but was a storage shed as it no longer met requirements for active use as a shipping container. He also argued that it made good use of used materials, by recycling them in another use. Goltz also offered to side the unit to match his house if requested.

Councillor Gary Thielmann admitted to having supported Goltz in his quest to keep the unit at a meeting of the previous council, but after much deliberation had changed his mind.

An attempt by Councillor Arlow to offer a possible compromise on the issue was rebuked by Mayor Bauer, who reminded council that the matter was not subject to debate, rather it was about the enforcement of an existing bylaw.

“This is not about what it looks like,” he said, “The bylaw was in place prior to the container being placed. If it were an actual building, permits would be necessary, which wouldn’t be given.”

Goltz tried to reason with council once more, arguing that shipping containers were becoming more and more acceptable as buildings, and council needed to come to grips with the new reality.

Council disagreed, turning down Goltz’ request, who exited council chambers, intimating legal action as his next step in his fight to retain the container.

Corporal Mike Gallagher of the Keremeos RCMP detachment presented the third quarter activity report to council. Calls were up slightly over the same period a year ago.

Councillor Gary Thielmann and Mayor Bauer will attend a “Building Sustainable Communities Conference in Kelowna at the end of February to take part in water discussions during the meeting.

The South Okanagan Roller Derby Association wrote a letter to council requesting use of Victory Hall to practice their sport. Council said no to the request, citing concerns over possible damage to the floor of the hall.

A replacement fridge for the kitchen in Victory Hall is on order, while the public works department seeks grant money to make Victory Hall washrooms handicap accessible.

A new $60,000 blower for the waste water treatment plant should be up and running by spring.

The new utility truck has a delivery date of mid January.

A request has been received from Francis Peck to have a plaque mounted in the area of the new Memorial Park sign, dedicating the park to our Veterans. The bronze plaque is anticipated to cost $250.

Authorization from council to pursue a  provincially funded community recreation grant with a tight timeline was sought and approved. Staff, working with Rec Tech Industries from Delta, put together a proposal for  the purchase of some outdoor exercise and playground equipment that would be installed in Pine Park, should the village succeed in getting a grant of $160,000. The village would then be responsible for picking up the remaining $40,000 of the $200,000 project.

A summary of the results of the 2011 civic election in Keremeos was presented to council. Total cost of the election was $9,150 of which $4,590 will be recovered from the regional district and from school district 53. The report to council also recommended streamlining the election process by moving to an electronic system for the next civic election.

Council reviewed and approved the preliminary budget for 2012.  A case was made by staff for the hiring of an additional public works employee, from which a recommendation was put forward and passed.