Calls for Creston Fire Rescue down in 2019

Building permits, cemetery commission and more discussed at Jan. 14 Creston council meeting

With 442 calls for service in 2019, Creston Fire Rescue incidents were down overall from the 530 in 2018, Chief Jared Riel reported at the Jan. 14 town council meeting.

December 2019 calls were up significantly over December 2018, though, with 41 requests for service in 2019, but 28 in 2018. The recent December incidents included two structure fires, seven false fire calls, 23 first responder calls, seven motor vehicle collisions and two hazardous materials calls.

The month saw the fire department continue public educations outreach and its annual Christmas caroling in town and West Creston. The work experience program firefighters helped out at the Santa Claus Parade, packing Christmas hampers for the Creston Ministerial Association and recording public service announcements for Juice FM.

Firefighters also helped new tenants move into affordable housing at Spectrums Farms, run by the Kootenay Region Association for Community Living.

“It’s a beautiful facility,” said Riel.

Council Briefs

•The Town of Creston issued 72 building permits in 2019, reported community services director Ross Beddoes.

Those permits accounted for new residential construction worth $3,729,000 and commercial/institutional construction worth $2,210,000, for a total of $5,939,000, down about $1.5 million from 2018.

•After requesting a discretionary grant for the PARTY (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) program, Kootenay Employment Services will instead seek funding through a Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives grant.

•The town will be a bronze sponsor in the upcoming Harvey Sayles Fishing Derby presented by the Creston Valley Shrine Club.

•Council will review Community Initiatives grant applications at a public meeting on April 21, CAO Michael Moore announced. Nearly $200,000 will be distributed in the town and Regional District of Central Kootenay areas A, B and C.

“If any councillor is approached by a service club, you can direct them toward this,” said Moore.

•Council will have staff look into creating a commission structure for local funeral homes assisting grieving families with obtaining burial space in the town-operated cemetery.

“Town of Creston staff are not adequately trained in working with grieving families, nor does Town Hall provide for appropriate meeting space to work through these difficult discussions with families,” said Beddoes in his request. “Amending the fees to reflect a commission allows for families to continue to work with professional funeral services, while ensuring the town receives their full share of the plot and niche fees.”

Council passed the initial readings of the bylaw allowing for the change.

•Garbage bags left out for pickup in commercial areas now require tags, available at Town Hall.

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