Keremeos Village Council seeing too many proclamations

News from Keremeos Village Council chambers regular meeting on April 16

This section of Twelfth Avenue is slated for paving in this year’s Keremeos village paving program.

This section of Twelfth Avenue is slated for paving in this year’s Keremeos village paving program.

A public hearing related to zoning amendments for some village property saw little public input prior to Keremeos Village Council’s regular meeting on April 16.

One member of the gallery had a question involving one of the uses for the property – car washes – with Mayor Bauer suggesting that any use of the property to wash vehicles would need to take place in compliance with any existing environmental or other regulations.

Council faced a request for yet another proclamation at this week’s meeting, this time coming in an email from the “Day of the Honey Bee” founder Clinton Shane Ekdahl, who requested that May 29 be declared “Day of the Honey Bee” for this year, and in perpetuity.

Councillor Evans lamented the day the village ridded itself of its proclamation policy, noting there were “too many subjects coming in.”

Mayer Bauer also expressed his opposition to the current request; the proclamation was denied by a vote of 3-2.

Council received a letter from the office of the Premier regarding receipt of the village’s letter regarding municipal representation on the Expert Panel on B.C. tax competitiveness.The letter was received for information.

A letter from the South Okanagan Boundary Labour Council was also received for information.

An item in the Mayor’s report regarding an upcoming director’s motion at the regional district attracted Councillor Evans attention.

The motion would involve the RDOS board in the national park debate, and Evans asked the mayor how he would vote on the issue. Bauer declared that his mind was open, saying that he would hear the arguments before deciding how to vote.

The village looked at four tenders before  selecting local contractor Harris and Son Transport to look after the villages’ 2012 road reconstruction projects. The contract is valued at $286,245.13.

A copy of a draft letter regarding the Similkameen’s issues with the recently revised Employment Services Program will be sent to several provincial and regional district officials

The financial plan received first, second and third readings, and is slated for adoption at the next meeting.

The zoning amendments subject to the public hearing earlier in the evening were given third reading.

Question period involved several questions about the proposed village reservoir, with Mayor Bauer reitierating to a gallery member that the village’s interest in the matter came purely from a desire to find other sources of funding that would lessen local taxpayer’s cost for the project. He asked the citizen to direct his questions to the Keremeos Irrigation District.

A second gallery member also queried council about the 2010 Alternate Approval Process that turned the reservoir proposal down.

“Why is the village requesting a grant when we said we didn’t want it,” the resident asked, to which he was told by the mayor that the AAP did not give a majority opinion – it only meant that if KID had wished to proceed, they would have had to undergo a more expensive referendum.

“The Village of Keremeos is looking at grant funding to try and reduce the cost of the project to taxpayers,” Mayor Bauer answered, “the village is only acting as a ‘front man’ for grant applications.”

A question regarding annual increases (three per cent) for the bylaw enforcement officer’s contract elicited the response from the mayor that such increases were reasonable given the annual cost of living.