Carol Schaffer is TNRD director for Area A (Wells Gray Country).

Carol Schaffer is TNRD director for Area A (Wells Gray Country).

Schaffer hosts community meeting in Vavenby

Topics include roads, railway crossings, flooding and water supply

By Robyn Rexin

Approximately 35 people attended a community meeting at Vavenby Hall on Wednesday evening, May 2.

Carol Schaffer, Thompson-Nicola Regional District director for Area A (Wells Gray Country), chaired the meeting. She also supplied baked goods for everyone to eat plus pop and water to drink.

There were six topics on the agenda but two speakers did not show – the Ministry of Transportation to discuss road conditions and a person to talk about the CN crossing. Schaffer had met with these two men earlier and so was able to supply some information.

The first topic to be discussed was road conditions. Schaffer said that residents had emailed her about trucks traveling too fast past the playground on Vavenby Bridge Road and on Lost Creek Road. There were also places that she knew needed repairing, such as by the bridge.

Residents said that they wanted the Birch Island-Lost Creek Road, also known as the Back Road, to be fixed due to all of the pot holes, wash outs, and frost heaves.

Culverts causing flooding?

From road conditions some people brought up the cleaning of the culverts, as they felt that that was what was causing the flooding of their homes. Some residents are seriously flooding this year.

Schaffer answered that the culverts were being cleaned.

One person who got up used a diagram on the chalkboard and explained how and why these houses were flooding. The meeting got quite heated at this point.

Jake Devlin, TNRD director of the environmental services and present to talk about recyclables and water meters, spoke to some of the flooding concerns. Schaffer ended this topic by saying that she will try and get everyone who was or is flooding together with all the people who can help.

She then read a report from CN. The railway will be working on a siding extension at the Mill Road crossing that will affect the crossing at Vavenby Bridge Road. This construction is due to take place between April 9 and Nov. 30.

CN will work with the Ministry of Transportation to improve some drainage issues on both sides of the latter crossing. CN will also work on improving the surface of that crossing.

RCMP talk about traffic

RCMP Sergeant Grant Simpson and Constable Randy Seidl talked about policing in Vavenby. Residents reported that they were concerned about trucks going to the sawmill not stopping at the stop signs.

Simpson said to call 9-1-1, give the type of the truck such as Arrow, its number and license number if possible, the time, and a description of the driver. A picture of the truck would also be good.

The need for speed signs near the new playground was also raised.

Then the topic of dangerous dogs was discussed. The police explained what constituted a dangerous dog and that if anyone was bit or threatened the situation would be investigated.

Schaffer said that there is a bylaw in the regional district on dangerous dogs but not all areas are part of it. If Vavenby joined now, residents would pay $.38 per year more on their taxes.

She read what the bylaw meant. A vote was taken. The majority of those present agreed to join. Schaffer has to discuss this topic and take a vote at meetings with the five other communities in Area A before it can be passed.

The Vavenby transfer funds was the next topic on the agenda. First Schaffer listed where all the funds were spent in the last few years. Then services coordinator Sherri Madden gave a presentation on the 2015 – 19 funds.

There had been a community meeting on Feb. 20 to discuss the possible uses of these funds. The top four priorities that the residents voted for were improvements to the water system, such as a generator, a cover for the outdoor rink, fire hall assets – hall expansion, a new truck, air refill system, and community hall kitchen improvements.

Madden gave an approximate cost for each priority. A survey will be sent to all property owners to be filled out and sent back to Madden.

She will then present the results to the TNRD board of directors. The answer will be mailed to all residents.

Recycling rules to change

Jake Devlin from the TNRD talked about transfer stations and how all recyclables must be sorted into separate bags starting soon. There must be one bag each for fibre, containers, plastic bags and over-wraps, coloured foam packaging, white foam packaging, plus glass bottles and jars.

Then he informed everyone that water meters will be installed in one to three years.

He gave three reasons why they were “a good thing.”

Meters help with leak detection, they provided fair billing as residents will be billed on consumption and not flat rates, and they encourage conservation.

READ MORE: Regional district repairs Vavenby water system (May 15, 2015)

Devlin explained that the meters will be put in a pit that drivers can go by and get the information from. Some residents were not happy that they would not be able to read their own meter.

Charlotte Cederholm, representing the fire department, wanted to know if the fire hall would be put on a meter.

That is where the trucks were filled. Devlin said that only the household uses of water at the fire hall would be metered.

Schaffer ended the meeting by saying that when the water meters come to Vavenby there will be another meeting to provide more information.

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Sgt. Grant Simpson is NCO-in-charge at Clearwater RCMP detachment.

Sgt. Grant Simpson is NCO-in-charge at Clearwater RCMP detachment.