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Creston town council approves higher budget for Kaminoho visitors

Creston town council approves $6,000 budget for Kaminoho visit, five-year plan, moved farmers' market...
Creston Town Hall is located on 10th Avenue North.

Items from Creston town council’s April 10 regular meeting (which also included discussion of the World Harmony Run and a development variance permit proposal):

Creston town council passed a motion at Tuesday’s regular meeting to increase the budget for the Creston-Kaminoho Friendship Society from $4,000 to $6,000 to accommodate expenses relating to a delegation visiting from Seki City/Kaminoho, Japan, in June. The increase doesn’t actually affect the town’s budget, but comes from reallocated funds, and doesn’t all need to be spent during that trip.

The first thing the Japanese visitors plan to do is visit the Forest Lawn Cemetery, where former mayor Lela Irvine and former councillor Lawrence Lavender, both supporters of the sister city program, are buried.

•The Town of Creston is offering a one-year extension to the Regional District of Central Kootenay for fire services provided to Areas B and C, but only if the RDCK renegotiates and signs an agreement by the end of May.

The fire protection agreement — which costs the RDCK $130,000 a year — currently expires at the end of 2012, and the proposed extension would be for one year beyond that. The conclusion of the agreement will allow the RDCK to hold a referendum to create its own fire service in those areas.

•Town council will discuss applications for the Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Initiatives Grants during its committee of the whole meeting on April 17. The program was undersubscribed this year, with about $61,000 out of a possible $65,000 being applied for; the remainder will be carried over and added to the funds available in 2013.

•Engineering and public works director Iain Bell told council that the murals on the side of Pharmasave will be repaired to prevent water damage. The lower portion of the paintings has a small gap that is allowing water inside; filling the gap with silicone is expected to solve the problem.

•March “was not a banner month for the building department,” municipal services co-ordinator Ross Beddoes told council.

Three new building permits were issued last month, for one minor residential addition and two small-scale commercial projects. In March 2011, four building permits were issued.

So far this year, the town has issued five permits, and permits for three single-family residences are pending.

•The town will spend $250 to sponsor a hole in the Creston Valley Thunder Cats annual golf tournament.

•Council adopted a revised fire services bylaw and the five-year (2012-2016) financial plan bylaw, and gave the new tax rates bylaw its first through third readings. The tax bylaw stems from the five-year plan, which will see taxation due to RCMP costs start with a 3.3 per cent increase this year, and rise 1.5 per cent the following four years.

•Council approved a request from the Creston Valley Blossom Festival Association to use the parking lot south of Millennium Park on May 19. The association will hold youth events on that site to tie in with children’s events in the College of the Rockies parking lot and entertainment in Millennium Park.

•The Creston Valley Farmers’ Market was approved to relocate for May 5 only to the lot south of the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce, while the West Coast Amusements carnival makes its annual visit.

“That’s also the site they’re looking at for a one-year trial basis for their midweek market,” said Beddoes.