Creston chamber requests review of economic development studies

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  • May. 16, 2011 6:00 p.m.

Creston town council directed staff to prepare a recommendation on how to structure a committee to deal with a recommendation from the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber executive director Jim Jacobsen appeared at the May 10 council meeting to propose a select committee be struck to go through economic development studies in recent years.

“Over many years there have been countless studies conducted looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the Creston Valley,” he said. “Too often, though, the studies have been merely that. Studies.”

Jacobsen proposed the formation of a committee to review a dozen or more studies (including the Arts and Culture Scan, Creston Revitalization Project and the Creston Valley Tourist Plan) to analyze and discuss them one at a time, looking at what was recommended, what was accomplished and what remains relevant and valuable.

“That information should be compiled to create an action plan,” he said.

Council supported the proposal and asked development services director Lou Varela, who has already discussed the proposal with Jacobsen, to recommend a committee structure and terms of reference.

Council Briefs

•Council asked staff to prepare a report so it considers how to respond to local business owner Maggie Zsoltaros. Zsoltaros leases the former Garden Bakery building on Canyon Street to produce gluten-free baked goods and she says the curbs and planter containers in the Cook Street parking lot (south of the 11th Avenue walk-through park) hinder access by delivery trucks.

“If we are unable to resolve this dilemma we will be forced to move our business to a more accessible area,” she wrote. “This means relocation of our business from Creston, meaning the loss of full-time available jobs.”

•Building permit activity picked up in April, but expect a big jump in May’s report, building inspector Ross Beddoes said. In April, three new residential permits were issued, along with two commercial building permits.

This month, Beddoes said, nearly $8 million of construction has been approved. Renovations to the Creston and District Community Complex arena and construction of a Ramada Inn and conference centre at the junction of Highways 3 and 3A are now underway.

•The alley behind the post office between 10th and 11th Avenues will soon have a posted speed of 15 km/h and speed bumps to slow traffic.

The portable speed bumps will be removed in winter to allow for snow removal, said engineering and public works director Iain Bell. The bumps are made from recycled tires and will slow traffic to between two and 10 km/h as it enters the alley, which has become a shortcut for drivers wanting to avoid Canyon Street traffic lights.

•A policy was approved to allow commemorative tree grate plaques to honour former town council and town staff members. Council will commemorate future members who die while in office and it has the discretion to honour others. Staff members who die while employed by the Town of Creston will be similarly honoured.

Former mayor Lela Irvine and popular councillor Lawrence Lavender, both recently deceased, will be the first to be commemorated in this way.

•A policy was adopted to create guidelines for when the Canadian flag at Town Hall will be flown at half-mast out of respect for deceased people.

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