Much was discussed between local government officials from District of Barriere, District of Clearwater, Simpcw First Nation and the Thompson Nicola Regional District during a community-to-community forum held Jan. 29 in Clearwater:
• Clearwater has just installed a bio-mass burner that delegates had an opportunity to view. Staff seemed very pleased with how the unit is functioning; the only glitch to date has been a chip jam. It was felt the weight of the chips caused compression which resulted in the jam. Staff have cut down the amount of chips they now put into the hopper that feeds to the auger, which seems to have solved the issue.
• There was a presentation regarding the Global Geopark project and a resolution put forward that there would be a future meeting with the communities involved to see if there was an appetite to continue with this concept.
• Simpcw Councillor Tina Donald presented Tom Eustache’s report on the Corridor Mountain Bike Strategy and will have a further update in the near future. Simpcw and the other communities in the valley have undertaken some trail building and the trails are currently being used by locals for mountain biking.
• Dave Fowles from Kinder Morgan gave an overview of where things stand in view of the government’s latest request. Fowles felt very confident that Kinder Morgan could meet all of the government requirements and is hoping they will have their go ahead by December 2016.
• Barriere mayor Virginia Smith, Clearwater councillor Shelley Sim, Jenny Green from Interior Health Authority, and Barriere CAO Colleen Hannigan provided a presentation on food security. Hannigan explained how Barriere’s new solar aquatics wastewater reclamation plant works and Mayor Smith gave an overview of the greenhouse space that would be available for growing food, plants, seedlings, etc.
• Bert Braybrook, Telus general manager, Kamloops Region, gave a presentation about cell service. The news was not good; basically Telus has no intention of exploring cell service to “low volume” areas, as the latest ruling of the CRTC has opened the market to other providers and it is no longer profitable for Telus. Some of the attendees explained that in some cases the lack of cell service in some remote areas is a safety issue, to which Braybrook explained that Telus could not justify the expenses involved.
• Harley Wright and Brian Bondar from Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society gave an overview of the work that the LNTCFS does in the community and explained about the upcoming Rural Economic Development Forum that is being planned.