Creston Valley in 2013: A look back at December

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  • Jan. 1, 2014 8:00 p.m.
Santa Claus arriving in town at the end of the Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 7.

Santa Claus arriving in town at the end of the Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 7.

At this time, we present our annual year in review, looking back at the events of 2013 as recorded in the pages of the Creston Valley Advance.

DECEMBER

5— The School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board of education voted in a special meeting on Dec. 3 to end its refusal to absorb the costs of a provincially negotiated wage hike for Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 748 workers.

While many districts objected to having to find savings to fund the cost increases when the contract was signed in the spring, Kootenay Lake was the only district that didn’t submit a plan to cover the expenditure.

The board voted to avert a threatened CUPE strike by submitting a savings plan to the provincial Ministry of Education.

“With all the other districts not taking the stand we did, the ministry wasn’t going to feel the need to change direction,” said trustee Mel Joy. “But even a little bit of understanding would have been nice.”

•Creston town council would like to see an opinion poll regarding daylight time added to ballots in the 2014 municipal election, it was decided at the Nov. 26 regular meeting.

The motion passed with three of the four councillors present voting to have Mayor Ron Toyota request that the Creston Valley services committee make the recommendation to the Regional District of Central Kootenay board.

Based on Coun. Judy Gadicke’s research, Creston didn’t participate when municipalities were asked about adopting mountain daylight time in 1952, and wants that to finally happen.

•The Town of Creston will rent two Eagle III-P voting machines from the City of Surrey in the 2014 municipal election, after hearing recommendations from research and legislative analyst Bhar Sihota at the Nov. 26 regular meeting.

The voting machines will cost $700 — $500 for programming plus a $200 rental fee — and although they won’t reduce lineups, they will help to return election results sooner than manual counting. They also ensure accuracy when voters cast their ballots.

12— Local Regional District of Central Kootenay directors are joining a working group designed to develop a sustainability plan for Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA) and its Wildlife Interpretation Centre.

At the Dec. 4 regular monthly meeting of the Creston Valley services committee, a delegation presented its recommendation to form a working group. The committee will also include a representative from Columbia Basin Trust, Lower Kootenay Band, Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce, CVWMA, the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations, and Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall.

“The wetlands are one of our most important resources and we need to work together to build on their appeal to tourists,” said Mayor Ron Toyota.

•Linking history, community and a sense of pride, the Lower Kootenay Band and the Creston Valley Thunder Cats teamed up to create a third jersey for the Junior B hockey team. The jersey has a new logo featuring a “thunder cat” head designed in a First Nations style by Warren Bruns, with the words “Yaqan Nukiy” above. The LKB logo is on the sleeve.

“What you see the most is the ‘Yaqan Nukiy’ and the Thunder Cats head on the jersey,” said LKB Chief Jason Louie. “It’s just a huge step by the Thunder Cats organization to acknowledge the traditional homeland of the local First Nations.”

19— Once again, Creston Valley elected officials were at the forefront in local government. Area B director John Kettle was acclaimed to a fourth year as chair of the Regional District of Central Kootenay board on Dec. 12.

“Maybe it was a case of being the devil they know,” Kettle joked after his acclamation.

Two days earlier, Rebecca Huscroft was elected, also by acclamation, chair of the School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board of education. Huscroft represents the South Rural zone.

•With two weeks left to get property owner approval for fire service protection in West Creston and on the Creston flats, volunteers continued their push to get enough signatures on a Regional District of Central Kootenay petition.

The proposal would see fire departments from the Town of Creston, Wynndel-Lakeview and Canyon-Lister respond to fight fires in the West-Creston/Creston flats area. According to the RDCK petition, residential and farm owners would pay a maximum rate of $1.24 per $1,000.

•The points kept adding up for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, who won three games in a row, maintaining a first-place lead in the Eddie Mountain Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League as they headed into their Christmas break.

The first week after the break was slated to be a busy one for the Thunder Cats, who hosted the Kimberley Dynamiters and Fernie Ghostriders on Dec. 30 and 31, and will travel to Invermere on Jan. 3 before hosting the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Jan. 4.

24—The Regional District of Central Kootenay adopted a bylaw establishing a fire protection service for Arrow Creek that took effect Jan. 1. Under the contract, response to fire calls and other emergencies will be provided jointly by Creston Fire Rescue, Wynndel-Lakeview and Canyon-Lister fire departments. They will be compensated equally for providing services.

•The Creston Room at the Creston and District Community Complex was abuzz with activity, as volunteers swarmed to organize and pack 400 Christmas hampers for the Creston Ministerial Association.

The community was generous, with donations of food, toys, gifts and cash pouring in right up until packing time on Dec. 16. And after those donations were made, more people took the time to work on the project.

“Well over 300 amazing community volunteers served with heart, soul and strength over the course of the two hamper days,” said ministerial association president Tom Greentree.

•The Town of Creston’s cost for the realignment of the intersection of Highway 3 (Northwest Boulevard) at Pine Street and Railway Boulevard will be $545,000, about 10 per cent of the total cost.

In a report to town council at the Dec. 17 meeting, engineering director Colin Farynowski said that costs of the project deemed to be of equal benefit to the town and province will be shared equally. Construction is scheduled for 2014.