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Stump Lake

This afternoon the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Board of Directors will hold their regular meeting. On the docket today is a possible short-term solution to the flooding issues at Stump Lake.

Last month, Stump Lake residents presented to the TNRD Board asking for assistance in lower the water level before next year’s freshet. While long-term solutions are still being worked out, the residents spoke to an immediate need to help prevent further damage.

The report being presented by TNRD Staff highlights the proposed short-term fix;

In September 2020 staff were asked to look into pursuing the short-term option of submitting an authorization request (Expense Authorization Form or “EAF”) to EMBC to draw down the Stump Lake level prior to the freshet to mitigate possible flooding in 2021. Consultation must occur with affected downstream stakeholders prior to any water movement.

Prior to making their decision on the matter, the TNRD Board asked for a legal opinion on the matter and possible liability.

As a proponent of either the Short-term or Long-term option, the TNRD would be subject to numerous statutory prohibitions and affirmative duties, which can be both onerous and costly. In the case of the Long-term Option, those prohibitions and affirmative duties would continue to evolve for the life of the flood protection works, which would likely be several decades. This legal exposure is compounded by the general trend in the field of environmental regulations of increasingly onerous duties, rigorous oversight, and higher penalties.

More to come

 

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bc news

UPDATE on IH numbers:

  • IH is reporting 38 new cases overnight, for a total of 1,144.
  • 209 cases are active and on isolation
  • Two people are in hospital with one in ICU.
  • Total number of deaths in IH remains at three.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are reporting 762 new cases of COVID-19, including three epi-linked cases, for a total of 24,422 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 6,861 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Currently, 209 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 58 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"There are 9,871 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 16,914 people who tested positive have recovered.

"We have had 210 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 481 in the Fraser Health region, 20 in the Island Health region, 38 in the Interior Health region, 13 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

"There have been 10 new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 320 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have three new health-care facility outbreaks at Agecare Harmony Court Estates, Menno Home and at Peace Villa. The outbreak at Normanna has been declared over.

"There have been no new community outbreaks and the outbreak at La Casa Resort has been declared over.

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Country Christmas

In any year other than 2020, the final week of November holds a special role in Merritt, it’s Country Christmas Week. Sadly, due to COVID-19, the committee behind the holiday event was forced to cancel the celebration earlier this year.

The kick-off to Country Christmas has long been the tree lighting at Spirit Square as Merrittonians gather to sing carols and drink hot chocolate which takes place on the Monday of Country Christmas week.

With that event, and the whole week cancelled, Councillor Kurt Christopherson who sits on the Christmas Committee is challenging Merrittonians to show their Christmas spirit.

“I would like to put it out there as a challenge or request, that people in the Nicola Valley that are decorating and lighting up their houses, aim for that day, and on Monday, November 23, everybody turns on their Christmas lights outside,” said Christopherson.

Christopherson is hoping that by lighting up the City together next Monday, Merrittonians can share in one aspect of Country Christmas Celebrations, even in 2020.

 

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Nicola Valley Theatre

For the past decade the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society has been working towards the single end goal of having a community theatre built in the City of Merritt.

To date, the Society has raised over 1-million dollars and purchased a piece of property at the Railyard Mall. Currently, the society is working to apply for grant funding to help complete the project.

Yesterday, the Society made a presentation to City Council regarding a possible partnership.

“We must continue to push the project, and we may need some help from the City of Merritt, but we don’t know exactly what that help is at this point. We would like permission from Mayor and Council to meet with your staff and develop a set of ideas to bring back to Council,” said Rich Hodson.

The motion was passed 6-0, Councillor Kurt Christopherson who Chairs the theatre society declared a conflict and was not present for the vote or debate.

It was noted that the Society is not looking for funding from the City, but the partnership would likely focus on the City's expertise around the future tendering of the project.

 

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Community Futures NV

With just over three months remaining in the pilot project, Merritt City Council is recommending that Community Futures Nicola Valley take the lead on the Provincial Nominee Program.

The program has been operational for approximately 20-months and in that time the City has received hundreds of inquires, dozens of exploratory visits, and one entrepreneur preparing to open a new business.

Manuel Olguin from Community Futures has addressed Council on a few occasions to relay CF’s concerns with the program.
Olguin stated that CFNV was looking to ensure that prospective businesses have full business plans during their applications, not the currently required business concept.

“It is not fair to invite an entrepreneur to come to Merritt for an exploratory visit when they do not have an idea of how to start a business. Other communities realized that a business concept was not enough to make a decision on whether or not to issue a referral letter,” said Olguin.

The Province currently looks after the full business plans in the program, once an entrepreneur has received a community referral letter.

“Our problem with that is we have somebody sitting in Victoria determining if these businesses will go in Merritt. And quite frankly I don’t think anybody in Victoria knows what goes on in Merritt better than the City, CF, and the Chamber,” added Tom Reynolds.

The Committee of the Whole passed a motion, recommending that Council assign Community Futures to lead in the project, effective immediately.

The motion will be debating again at the next council meeting.

 

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