Similkameen Valley Planning Society update

Members of the Similkameen Valley Planning Society gathered for their monthly meeting Feb.12.

Members of the Similkameen Valley Planning Society gathered for their monthly meeting after a short hiatus on Wednesday, February 12 at Cawston Hall.

Princeton Town Council recently appointed Councillor  Kim Maynard to the SVPS board, however, Princeton Mayor Frank Armitage was also in attendance at the February 12 meeting. It was also the first meeting of the SVPS for recently elected Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Keith Crow.

Former Tourism Advisory Council Chair Joan McMurray brought the board up to date with respect to the regional tourism strategy.

She told the board that negotiations were underway to purchase a one page ad in the Thompson Okanagan regional tourist guide at a cost of $1,800 $1,900, as a two page ad similar to what was purchased last year was too expensive. McMurray was waiting for a response from the guide’s design team.

The Similkameen’s valley wide tourist guide is now “fully subscribed” McMurray reported. The 34 page guide still needs to be approved by the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, as Chief Crow noted that so far “no native influences” had been input into the publication.

McMurray also reported that an industry day for tourism stakeholders was planned  (similar to that which took place at the Princeton Golf Club last year) at the Grist Mill, date still to be announced.

Shane Wright, who recently developed a Buy Local! Buy Fresh!  year round guide map to local food, spoke to the society about  purchasing ad space on his brochure. Wright hoped to add the South Okanagan and Similkameen to the maps’ boundaries, now in its second year.

After some discussion with respect to the brochure’s merits, the board passed a motion to buy a $500 placement in the guide.

Liisa Bloomfield, engineer with the regional district, brought the board up to date with progress of the Similkameen Watershed study.

The final version of Phase one of the report is complete, but Bloomfield said there were some information gaps to be filled in, with respect to three items:

1. Water supply and demand.

2. Collected data not yet analyzed.

3. Water quality status and trend analysis.

Bloomfield said $210,000 currently remained in the Watershed Study budget. Work identified is expected to take another year to complete, and a recent partnership signed with the LSIB to incorporate their data was underway.

The society provided a grant of $250 to the local DARE program, while turning down a request for $2,500 from the Keremeos and District Arts Council.