The Town of Creston will apply for three electric car charging units, town council decided at the Aug. 11 regular meeting.
The charging units (one EV unit and two Tesla units) will come from Sun Country Highway at no cost, and the $3,300 installation fee — $7,500 if each unit requires a separate pedestal — will be covered by the Regional District of Central Kootenay economic development service (Areas B and C, and the town).
“It’s something we can capitalize on for two years, then everyone will have it,” Mayor Ron Toyota said at the meeting.
The units are part of a Highway 3 Mayors and Chairs Coalition initiative to develop an “Electric Highway 3” from Princeton to the Alberta border. Once enough charging stations are in place, they can be marketed, and the coalition will ask the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to erect signage.
The goal is not only to provide a free charging service — the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce will cover the costs of each $1-$2 charge — but encourage drivers to spend time in Highway 3 communities.
“When an EV is being charged for an hour, the driver and passengers would be encouraged to stroll our downtown to dine, snack and shop,” said Toyota after the meeting.
•Council granted the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce permission to obtain a licence of occupation for a Stewart Steinhauer carving to be placed on town right-of-way at the north end of the Visitor Centre parking lot adjacent to the new Pine Street-Northwest Boulevard intersection.
“It will just nestle in among the trees there,” said town manager Lou Varela.
Steinhauer’s large carvings — this one is about three by five feet — have previously been placed next to the Visitor Centre and Creston and District Community Complex entrances.
“This is his way of showing it, but in such a way that we, as the Town of Creston, benefit from it,” said Toyota.
•Council received no opposition from a small gallery of homeowners at a public hearing to correct a zoning error for 28 Alice Siding properties.
Under current laws and bylaws, should a legally non-conforming structure — such as a home or apartment in that largely industrial section of town — be destroyed more than 75 per cent above the foundation, that property would lose its non-conforming status and must not be rebuilt. The amendment passed unanimously.
“The intent is to legitimize existing single-family and multi-family uses,” said Varela.
•Permission for the Creston Valley Forest Corporation (CVFC) to put wood “cookies” on the fence at the intersection of Northwest Boulevard and Cook Street — similar to the sturgeon already placed there by Adam Robertson and Canyon-Lister elementary school Grade 5/6 students in 2012 — was delayed, pending a report from staff.
The CVFC will be working with 80-100 Grade 5 students during September’s National Forest Week, and have students answer “When you look to the forest, what do you see?” by painting their thoughts on a cookie.
•Staff will apply for Union of BC Municipalities and Jeff McKelvey Scholarship grants for town intern Hélène Miles and manager Lou Varela to attend upcoming professional development courses through, respectively, Capilano University and the Local Government Management Association.
•The town will donate a duffle bag, jacket and golf shirt to the Oct. 3 Ducks Unlimited Canada dinner and auction.
•Council received for information a letter from the City of Nelson, asking the town to participate in the Kootenay Community Voter Challenge, an initiative to encourage federal election voting.
“My personal take is we’re getting into an area that’s not our responsibility,” said Toyota.
•The town will write a letter of support on behalf of Sagona Strategies International for the Castlegar Hospice Society’s Hospice Without Borders project.
The $31.5 million project would see a 10-bed hospice facility built in Castlegar with a goal of serving the entire West Kootenay and Creston. The nearest such facility to Creston is currently in Kelowna.
•A shade sail, approved at the June 23 council meeting, has been installed at the dog park on Cedar Street.
“At certain times of the day, people can find shade under it,” said town engineering manager Colin Farynowksi.