Opposition to works yard ramps up

Meeting: South Canoe residents discuss protest actions against the planned move of public works

The organizers of the committee of South Canoe residents opposed to the city’s purchase of the vacant South Canoe School for the purpose of relocating their public works yard made plans to protest at an Aug. 29 meeting.

The organizers, led by Lisa Nobbs, hosted a community meeting at Klahani Park to inform fellow residents and review neighbourhood objections to the plan.

Approximately 50 South Canoe residents attended the meeting.

“I think it all comes down to dollars and cents,” Nobbs said, addressing the city’s motivation for moving the works yard to the South Canoe School property, acknowledging the city was getting a good price on the five-acre site.

Salmon Arm city council approved a short-term borrowing plan at their Aug. 8 meeting in order to purchase the school property from School District #83 for $475,000.

The sale is contingent on the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) approving non-farm use for the property, which is in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Nobbs recommended that the assembled residents at the Aug. 29 meeting voice their concerns to Ron Wallace, the ALC Land Use Planner handling the South Canoe School property. Wallace’s contact information was provided as part of an agenda  circulated at the meeting.

The agenda also contained email addresses for each city councillor and Mayor Nancy Cooper and urged people to write letters of concern to them.

Couns. Alan Harrison and Ken Jamieson excused themselves from previous discussion of the property acquisition, because they are employees of School District #83.

Along with the letter writing campaign, Nobbs urged South Canoe residents to attend the City of Salmon Arm Agricultural Advisory Committee meeting on Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. at city hall, as well as the city council meeting on Monday, Sept. 12.

Adam Muddiman will lead a presentation from the concerned South Canoe residents outlining their concerns including compromised safety, pollution, increased noise and devaluation of nearby properties as a result of greater industrial traffic in the area.

Alternative locations for the works yard suggested at the meeting include the industrial park and the former Department of Defence property on 20th Ave. SE near the new cemetery.

Nobbs and a few other meeting attendees expressed their intent to sue the city if the works yard project does go through.