By Andru McCracken

The October 27 Valemount council meeting began with Royal Canadian Legion Branch 266 President Marie Birkbeck presenting council with poppies.

Childcare and women’s housing
M’akola Developments and Robson Valley Community Services (RVCS) made a presentation regarding their development at 1451 5th Avenue, which will need to be rezoned in order to offer childcare.

“Through their work in the community, RVCS has recognized a growing need for safe, affordable, long term housing in Valemount for women and children at-risk of or experiencing violence,” said Ryley Colter-Krause, Executive Assistant at RVCS. “In addition, there is a well-documented and pressing need for licensed childcare in Valemount, which RVCS hopes to address through the proposed development, in support of onsite tenants as well as the wider Valemount community.”

After the presentation, councilor Pearson asked whether 12 parking spaces would be sufficient for staff, residents and 72 daycare spaces.

“We have considered this and we do understand that the uses of the parking spaces will be staggered. In the evening when residents will be home the daycare and office workers will not be on site,” said a representative of M’akola Developments.

“If not there are other options we could find answers to in our more refined design.”

Mayor Owen Torgerson thanked them for their presentation.

“Thank you for your diligence and tenaciousness moving this project forward. We look forward to working with you more often in the future,” he said.

Swallows bats and snakes
Council provided a letter of support to LGL Limited for their application to the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program to enhance wildlife habitat in the Canoe Valley.

“… methods developed herein can later be used to inform the design of other on the ground habitat actions that will have direct benefits for wildlife and their riparian habitats in the Canoe Valley region.”

The following wildlife habitat enhancements are suggested for this wetland focused project: swallow nest boxes; bat boxes; and snake hibernacula.

Ceasing stove inspections
Council decided to heed a recommendation from the Regional District, that in order to lessen liability to the village, staff will no longer provide inspections for existing solid fuel burning appliances.

“One really hadn’t thought about the liability of doing these inspections and approvals. I guess we put it on to someone who has a WETT certificate and let them take it on,” said Councilor Pete Pearson.

Grant writing
The village will apply to the Northern Development Grant Writing Support Program and also seek support from the Valemount Community Forest for the grant writing position.

Give ‘em 10%
Council adopted Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw 831, which provided a 10% tax exemption for land-owning non-profit organizations.

Council pay
Council gave two readings to a bylaw that would increase their pay by 2%, on track with other years.

The Mayor will now make $19,893.59, an increase of $390.07.

Each councillor will now make $8,952.64, an increase of $175.54.

New affordable housing rezoning
Council gave two readings to a Zoning Bylaw that would allow childcare as a use on 1451 5th Avenue. The property, next to the Valemount Health Clinic, has already been rezoned for high density residential housing.