Barriere and area making progress

Mayor Virginia Smith reports to community-to-community forum

Virginia Smith is the mayor of Barriere.

Jill Hayward – Barriere Star/Journal

Participants at the Community to Community forum held Jan. 27 in Barriere heard reports from District of Barriere and Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Barriere Mayor Virginia Smith reported the community’s new Wastewater Solar Aquatics plant is up and running.

“We have some of the community’s trailer parks hooked up and will have some of the residents hooked up in the spring,” said Smith, “The process is a little bit tricky, and we’ve had some issues with the wood chips freezing up.”

Smith noted that Barriere is still waiting for Health Canada approval of a medical marijuana plant to be built on the Louis Creek Industrial Park.

“Our wells are currently being upgraded thanks to a grant upgrade to our water system,” said Smith, “Our splash pad received a $150,000 grant from the Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society, and $40,000 from MLA Terry Lake and is now up and running. Fundraising is now taking place to build a skateboard park. We are currently reviewing our OCP (Official Community Plan).”

She also noted that Kinder Morgan is coming to Barriere for an information meeting on Feb. 21.

“A local realtor says we are having more young families moving in now; once it was seniors,” said Smith, “Young families can buy more house here for their dollars.”

TNRD Area ‘O’ (Lower North Thompson) director Bill Kershaw reported he participated in a tour up Highway 24 with Lower North Thompson Tourism Society marketing director Lorne Robertson last year. Tourism outlets along that corridor reported a 10 to 40 per cent increase in business for 2016.

“We put $40,000 into power and facility lighting upgrades at the North Thompson Fall Fair grounds,” said Kershaw, “The Fall Fair is becoming a focal point of our area.”

Forum participants heard from TNRD development services director Regina Sadilkova regarding the proposed regional official community plan and its review process.