Creston town council voted Jan. 12 to change its meeting times to accommodate Coun. Kevin Boehmer, who topped the polls in the 2014 municipal election.
Boehmer told council that he had accepted a teaching position (he is an accountant) in Cranbrook at the College of the Rockies, which limits his ability to carry on with some of his duties as a Creston councillor.
“This isn’t something I went looking for,” he said. “The job basically came to me.”
Boehmer now teaches from Tuesday through Friday, but has no intention of relocating.
“We won’t be moving,” he said. “My wife and kids love it here and I will be commuting.”
Boehmer’s new employer accommodated his work as a town councillor, working out a schedule that sees his duties end at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, which allows him to get back to Creston for the regular 4 p.m. public council meeting.
At the suggestion of Coun. Karen Unruh, council voted to move the meeting back to 4:30 p.m. And scheduled closed meetings will now be held after the public meeting, not before.
Coun. Jim Elford will replace Boehmer as Mayor Ron Toyota’s alternate as a Regional District of Central Kootenay director.
“Can’t we just fire him?” Coun. Joe Snopek asked, laughing, during the discussion to reassign some of Boehmer’s other duties.
•Newly elected for Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski appeared before council to introduce himself as the area’s federal representative, promising to push for Kootenay communities that make federal grant applications.
•The 2015-2017 Corporate Strategic Plan was adopted. The plan can be found on the town’s website, creston.ca.
•Council received minutes from the cemetery select committee and approved a request that will allow the committee chair, and not town council, to call meetings.
•Approval was given to keep Creston in the RDCK woodstove exchange program in 2016. Under the program, residents can apply for a $100 grant when they exchange an older woodstove with a new, more efficient one. While Creston’s commitment is for a maximum of 20 stoves, as in previous years, only one application has been received in the last two years, municipal services director Ross Beddoes said.
•Council will write a letter of support for the Kootenay Hotel revitalization project that is now underway on Canyon Street at 12th Avenue.
•Authorization to apply for a Provincial Infrastructure Planning Grant was approved. The funds would go toward a southeast drainage basin study.
•A request from the Creston Rotary Club to upgrade public washrooms at Millennium Park was referred to staff for a report.
•Two new members of the public, Brian Tully and Linda Harke, were appointed to the board of variance, which will continue to be chaired by Dave Handy.
•Council voted to pay the annual dues for the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments despite Boehmer’s questions about whether it should opt out of the organization. Snopek, council’s representative to the AKBLG, said that it was beneficial to member municipalities.
•A $5,000 community development grant was approved for the Fields Forward Opportunity Fund.
•Deadline for negotiations with the RDCK to create a septage receiving facility was extended for one year.
•A records management bylaw was given three readings. The bylaw outlines requirements about the length of time that records are kept.
•A staff recommendation to replace deteriorating sewer and water lines between Eighth and Ninth avenues south, north of Birch Street, was approved. The project requires that $12,000 be reallocated from the inflow and infiltration fund to the sewer line replacement fund, and $30,000 be reallocated from the water mains fund to the water pipe replacement fund. The approval does not require additional funds.