Council talks bus parking, projects, IOCP

Council decides on bus parking on Third Avenue, waterworks study, Station House and IOCP.

Third Avenue bus parking only signs. The District of Hope decided on July 25 to place these signs

Council met on July 25 and discussed  topics of note: tour bus parking on Third Avenue and putting in $30,000 to study a waterworks facility. The Station House project also moves forward and IOCP discussion receive two readings.

Tour bus parking woes

Third Avenue around Memorial Park will see a short-term solution to tour buses’ parking problem in early August after Coun. Gerry Dyble brought up the issue.

Previously, the parking stalls around the bus stop are open to all vehicles. On Tuesday, bus parking only signs, between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., went up. She said that buses find it hard to park and are avoiding stopping in Hope as a result.

“I don’t think that’s something that we want to see happen,” said Dyble.

Coun. Scott Medlock brought forth a motion that would put bus-only parking signs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. up immediately, “so that this tour season isn’t all for nothing.”

He argued that to wait until the next council meeting to decide, scheduled Aug. 22, would be too late.

District director of operations Kevin Dicken said he noticed buses parking on Park Street as a result.

Mayor Wilfried Vicktor said he would rather leave it up to staff to determine what the best decision would be.

“If a bus driver has to park 50 feet away from where they normally park, it’s really not the end of the world either,” said Vicktor.

Coun. Donna Kropp questioned if they should even bother.

“What we found was that the washrooms had to be upgraded and that people were just making a pitstop, literally, and leaving again, so it’s costing the taxpayers a lot of money,” said Kropp.

She suggested “creative” ways of making buses stay in Hope such as forcing minimum one hour parking.

A more formal solution will come in the future.

$30,000 to study waterworks

Council will put forth $30,000 to proceed with a study that will figure out the condition of the 753 Water System, which the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) will reimburse.

“The Ministry has indicated that they’re going to ensure that the 753 reserve fund reimburses the District for the study,” said the Mayor.

The MFLNRO does not currently have money in that fund, also known as the Utility Replacement Reserve Trust Fund, but will have it by the end of 2016.

They have requested that the District put forth the money to do a study, which has to be done during peak water demand season.

The water system provides water to 190 single-family homes and 70 lots currently, east of the Coquihalla River within the District of Hope.

“Before the District takes it over, we have to know what we’re facing, because we’d like to take over a functional, at-standard system,” said Vicktor. “At this point, there’s no current … engineering report that says what the system is all about.”

Should the report show that the system is in disrepair, Vicktor suggested that the District might look to the Province for funding.

The District will decide if they want to take it over once they get this information.

Vicktor added that the motive of taking over that water system lies in ensuring reliable water supply to the households that pay taxes to the District.

Station House

Council has ratified the July 11 Committee of the Whole resolution and will put out a request for proposals to repair the exterior of Station House, with conceptual drawings included, and bring the heating system up to service standards.

The request for proposals closes Aug. 26.

Council will review the proposals thereafter.

IOCP

Council has passed the first two readings of the Integrated Official Community Plan, with a goal of adopting the IOCP in September after consultations.

The District now needs to consult with Fraser-Cascade School District 78, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Chawathil First Nation, Union Bar Band and Yale First Nation.

Further to that, there will be a public consultation, as of now, that date has not been determined.

Mayor Vicktor indicated that public consultation might have been done already.