At Tuesday’s regular meeting, Creston town manager Lou Varela provided council with a report from Kaslo, which held a referendum in conjunction with May’s provincial election. Coun. Judy Gadicke had requested the information after the town was told by the provincial government that a referendum on daylight time would cost about $130,000.
Kaslo’s costs were $5,000-$6,000 and Varela estimates that Creston would incur about $10,000 to conduct a referendum. Additional costs would be borne by the Regional District of Central Kootenay, as rural residents would also have to agree before daylight time could be adopted.
•Joanne Taylor, a graduate research assistant to a University of BC – Okanagan professor, presented a report on her findings from the last two months. Taylor, who is working toward a master’s degree in environmental anthropology, has conducted 38 interviews with farmers in Creston Valley and the US, diking and improvement districts, the Ktunaxa Nation and regional district personnel.
Taylor is examining the impact of the Columbia River Treaty on the Creston Valley, with an emphasis on how farming and food supplies have been affected by the current agreement, which expires in 2014. The study will continue for several years, she said.
•A donation of a Town of Creston item to the Creston Valley Rotary Club’s Drive Fore Rotary fundraising golf tournament was approved.
•Council approved a motion by Coun. Wesly Graham supporting the restriction of animal traps that can cause harm to humans and pets in urban areas.
•An annual grant of $2,100 will continue to be awarded to the Creston Firefighters Society, without restrictions for its use. The grant had been directed toward a hose-laying competition, which has not been held in the past two years.
•Council approved a revitalization tax exemption for the Creston Hotel for the portion of a newly completed banquet room. Steffan Klassen, director of finance and corporate services, said at current rates the hotel will save about $879. No new construction in qualifying properties has been undertaken under the program to encourage revitalization, which is set to expire this year.
•Council agreed to review the town’s cat bylaw to see if it is still needed or if amendments should be considered. In 2009, Creston became the first municipality in B.C. to adopt a cat bylaw when several areas in town had feral cat problems.
Other municipalities, especially in Alberta, are considering adopting a similar bylaw, which won an award from the Union of BC Municipalities.
•A statutory statement of financial information was approved as a requirement under the Financial Information Act. The statement will be available to the public by the end of June.