A $2,500-plus contribution from city council initiatives will serve as seed money to get a proposed community garden up and running.
In June, council heard from Salmon Arm resident Leslie Gurney, who has offered to donate an acre of her property at 2870 60th Avenue NE for a community garden, proposed in partnership with the Shuswap Food Action Network and the Shuswap Family Resource Centre. In exchange, Gurney asked that a water line be brought to the property separate from the one connected to Gurney’s residence. Council asked city staff to find a cost-effective way to help make the garden a reality. Staff later came back to council with three options, the most effective and least expensive – and the one council chose to go with – estimated to cost $2,500.
In addition to the cost of the water extension, council also agreed to cover, again through council initiatives, a covenant that restricts use of the donated property to a community garden, allowing the city to disconnect the new water service should it no longer be used as such.
Furthermore, in response to concerns by city administrator Carl Bannister that the city cannot contravene its own bylaws by giving water away for free, council agreed to also cover a $262 flat rate for water for the coming year, also out of council initiatives, and that the cost of water (to be metered) be put into future budgets.
“Staff feels we do need a number, whether it’s the metered rate or the numbered rate…But the flat rate is something we can stand by,” said Bannister.
“It’s a set rate,” he said. “We can monitor it and report back in the future.”