Local politicos meet with seniors

Three SImilkameen politicians participate in Keremeos Seniors Centre monthly meeting

Approximately 30 members of the 200 member Keremeos Seniors Society met for their monthly meeting on March 6 at the senior’s centre in Keremeos.

Three local politicians were also on hand to update the membership on village and regional issues.

Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer discussed municipal business with the group, advising them that the village budget’s deadline for adoption this year was May 15. Capital projects for the village this year include the demolition and reconstruction of public washrooms in Memorial Park. Bauer described the new facility as being fully accessible as well as expanding the washroom’s capacity to five patrons.

Three more flower planters will be installed along the west end of the downtown core this year,  the washrooms in Victory Hall will be made fully accessible – somehting Bauer said was “absolutely necessary,”and upgrades to the village office will be completed. Bauer noted that such projects were partially funded through higher levels of government telling the membership that the village had to act now to take advantage of grants available. Bauer also said that LED street lighting would be installed in the village with an extra light to be installed near the Red Bridge Pub. Again, the upgrades were intended to help fulfill the village’s committment to reducing greenhouse gases and hopefully receiving carbon credits for making the community more energy efficient.

The village’s sewer lift stations will also be upgraded this year, and work will begin on a dike master plan for the community.

Bauer also addressed the conclusions of the recently completed Core Service Review, telling those gathered that the village was currently running on a “skeleton crew” and in the process of hiring a full time office staffer to look after reception at the village office.

“We need to hire in quiet times so the employee has time to learn the ropes,” he said, noting that the village was trying to hire someone local to fill the position.

Bauer also addressed the upcoming reservoir issue, encouraging the membership to “inform yourself.” He explained that the village is facilitating financing of the project because it was able to apply and obtain a $300,000 gas tax grant that would help defray local costs for the reservoir.

“If you say no (to the referendum question) it will go ahead anyway, with no grant,” he concluded. “This way eases the burden on the taxpayer.”

 

Angelique Wood, Director for Area

“G”, spoke to the group about new prospects for the Grist Mill. She had recently met with new manager Chris Mathieson, and was able to tell those present that plans were afoot to get the mill operating again. A member of the mill team back in its heyday, Cuyler Page will be assisting Mathieson, who hopes to hire up to five people.

 

Director for Area “B” George Bush did not have any news from his area.

The audience was mainly concerned with the reservoir issue, one comment noting that the reservoir was going to be built regardless of local input, past or present. Another asked why it was necessary, to which Bauer explained that other meetings would be held by the Keremeos Irrigation District to explain this and other questions. One  question was also posed pertaining to Grist Mill and its funding.