By: Laura Keil

On Thursday some 50 community members turned out for this year’s Community Conversations, a communications event held by the Village of Valemount.

The event included an open house from 3-7 about Village services, presentations by Council members for about 40 minutes and small group discussions for about 15 minutes.

This year there was no open floor for questions, as there was last year, and due to a funeral the following day, the sit-down portion of the event was limited to an hour, from 7-8.

Councillors and mayor each reported on one portfolio – Mayor Townsend on the progress of Valemount Glacier Destinations, Counc. Reimer on the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, Counc. Torgerson on geothermal potential, Counc. Salt on the Village’s relationship with the Simpcw First Nation and Counc. Blanchette on the downloading of responsibilities from higher levels of government and financial struggles of small municipalities.

The small groups brainstormed three key questions that were then shared with the group. Recurring questions included the topic of affordable and accessible housing, Village taxes, spurring new development and growth, among others.

Village CAO Anne Yanciw said the Village would provide answers to the questions by sometime in July and a report would be included in an upcoming Council agenda.

The Open House prior to the sit-down portion included information about Village bylaws; hard copies of the recent Organizational Review; information about Tourism Valemount, the Community Forest, and Public Works; and feedback forms on potential changes to the Village’s procedural bylaw among other things.

The Community Conversations event is usually hosted once a year.