City concurs with downtown street closures for Sturgis North

Word around town isn’t all favourable to Sturgis North, but Salmon Arm council isn’t going to stop the event from extending to the city’s downtown.

City engineering and public works director Dale McTaggart has agreed to close off portions of the downtown for Sturgis from July 13 to 17.

These closures include sections of Fifth Street SW, from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday; Hudson Avenue, from the art gallery to Alexander between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; Alexander NE from Hudson to Lakeshore, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday; one-third of the Ross Street parking lot, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; and the east half of Marine Park wharf from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. This schedule was agreed upon by the Downtown Salmon Arm board, and council was reluctant to counter the decision.

“I think council would be foolish to not endorse the recommendation of the Downtown Improvement Association because they speak for downtown businesses,” said Coun. Alan Harrison. “All of us have probably heard from individual businesses who don’t think this is a good idea. That’s not the point… for businesses who don’t agree, they might want to get more involved with their association.”

At the April 26 council meeting, Coun. Kevin Jamieson noted he had been approached by a number of businesses with concerns about the proposed closures.

“Five business people did approach me in my walk  through town last week and they all have a pretty strong opinion on it,” said Jamieson.

The May 9 council agenda included a letter from HealthQuest supporting the event, but stating that a select number of businesses would benefit from the closure while others would suffer.