Council Notes: Slow down by the beach

The road next to Dutch Lake beach is already designated a playground zone but its signs do not display the 30 km/hr needed to limit speeds

Members of Clearwater's Junior Council get sworn in by chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx.

Old North Thompson Highway next to Dutch Lake beach is already designated a playground zone but its signs do not display the 30 km/hr needed to limit speeds, according to Mike Smith, District of Clearwater’s fleet, equipment and roads manager.

Smith made the report to town council last Friday during a regular council meeting.

Council had earlier directed staff to bring forward a report on the implications of reducing the speed limit adjacent to the beach from 50 km/hr to 30 km/hr.

The fleet, equipment and roads manager recommended attaching 30 km/hr signs to the existing playground signs along Old North Thompson Highway by the beach.

He also recommended posting a communication notice on the District’s website and newsletter, as well as communicating with the RCMP regarding an enforcement protocol.

Cost of two large signs plus signposts would be $280 plus taxes, he said.

Council decided to move ahead on the recommendations. Councillor Merlin Blackwell suggested that there be a sign or person to tell people the speed limit is being enforced.

Campus of care takes step forward

Town council accepted a feasibility study for a campus of care. The facility would be located between Evergreen Acres and the hospital and would serve the area from Barriere to McBride.

The study estimated that over the next five to 10 years the campus of care could attract sufficient residents to support 70 to 90 residential care units, 28 to 35 assisted living units, and 20 to 30 independent units.

The proposed phase one would have 16 independent units, 16 assisted living units, 16 additional residential care beds, two units for respite, hospice or palliative use, as well as community and service facilities.

A typical annual cost per bed for the mix of residents being proposed could range from $75,000 to $125,000. This would mean the annual operating cost for the phase one facility would be in the $2.6 million to $4.3 million range.

Mayor John Harwood noted that such facilities are expensive to operate and that those staying there would not be expected to pay the entire cost. Interior Health and the provincial government would pay for some or all.

The facility would need to be of sufficient size to attract enough clients to make it economically viable, he noted.

Tourism enjoys boom

The tourist industry in Clearwater and area seems to be doing well, according to comments made by several councillors during last week’s town council meeting.

Merlin Blackwell, whose company has the maintenance contract for Wells Gray Park, said this has been a very successful and record-setting year.

Negotiations are underway to get the road and parking lot into Spahats Falls plowed next winter.

Clearwater Lake Tours has a sno-cat and will be offering cross-country ski tours into the lake, with cabins to rent during the winter.

An adventure movie about ice-climbing at Helmcken Falls is planned for this winter as well, he said.

Gord Heisterman noted that the Calgary Herald recently ranked two canoe trips in Wells Gray Park as among the top five canoe trips in western Canada.

 

A fishing and outdoor magazine is going to showcase fly-fishing in Wells Gray Park in an upcoming issue, he added.