Paddle boards at Canoe Beach
A plan is underway to provide rentals of paddle boards, canoes, kayaks and beach umbrellas at Canoe Beach.
City council has approved a three-year lease agreement with the same couple who leased the Canoe Beach concession in 2016, Jim and Joyce Dunlop.
Because the most requests at the beach have been for paddle boards, they will likely be provided first.
A report from city staff notes the proprietors have already carried out a number of improvements including deck repair and addition of a non-slip surface; fresh sand; new paint; professional signage and equipment upgrades.
Staff report that along with the proposed rentals, a more diversified menu is planned with healthy options – but the popular poutine won’t be changing.
Coun. Chad Eliason has proposed a way to encourage more residential development downtown.
At council’s Jan. 30 meeting, Eliason asked that staff prepare a report on amending the city’s revitalization tax exemption bylaw to include residential development.
“What I’d like to do is increase the number of people living in our downtown area. That’s my vision. What I’ve asked staff is to get a report on how to give tax breaks for people who want to build housing down there,” he said, explaining that his goal is to encourage high-density housing, providing an incentive for people to build it and people to buy it.
“I’ve noticed that downtown businesses are not having the greatest time; one thing that would help them would be more residents downtown.”
Flynn to CSRD
City council is mixing it up a little.
The councillors who represent citizens on committees have switched, and a new designation has been added.
One of the changes will be on the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board of directors. Mayor Nancy Cooper and Coun. Chad Eliason have been the city’s representatives on the CSRD board, but Coun. Kevin Flynn will be taking over from Cooper.
Although mayors are often on the board, Flynn points out that not always – one example being the mayor of Golden. He said because a four-year term was introduced in the last election, council discussed reviewing committee appointments halfway through the term.
“I’m really excited to be going there,” said Flynn. “I had been there for six years and I had some business I wanted to keep working on.”
Cooper noted that Flynn is very keen and has a lot of knowledge after serving on the board before.
Another change is the creation of two First Nations representatives from the city. Cooper and Coun. Ken Jamieson will be fulfilling that role.
Cooper said having two reps rather than the whole council will streamline the process for meeting with the First Nations bands on various issues.
Coun. Alan Harrison expressed how impressed he is by the SABNES (Nature Bay Society) newsletter that was included in council correspondence last month.
He noted council made a decision about dogs on the foreshore trail, which rankled members of SABNES. “They were angry about it and I understand their point of view.” Nonetheless, he said, “They have been cooperating and working with us.”
He said the newsletter shows how much they’re doing and he encouraged people to think about joining SABNES, at only $15 per year.
Coun. Ken Jamieson agreed, noting the city’s contribution to SABNES is one of the best deals in town.
“We speak so highly of the property, it’s part of the trail system – the foreshore, whenever we speak of it, it’s one of the jewels of the town,” he said, pointing out that people come from all over the world to bird and hike there.
“I’m surprised that we get away with spending so little down there, I’ll be quite honest. The volunterers are warriors, cleaning things up, fixing things up.”
Mayor Nancy Cooper echoed the sentiment.
“Salmon Arm is so fortunate to have SABNES and groups like that – doing things for Salmon Arm because they love it. We’re very fortunate.”
Four years one too many?
The move to four-year terms for municipal councils might not be working well for all communities.
Coun. Chad Eliason, who is president of the Southern Interior Local Government Association, or SILGA, moved that council send a motion to SILGA asking for a review of the four-year and three-year terms.
He said it’s not that he supports or doesn’t support the four-year term, but in some smaller communities, there’s fatigue from the four-year term.
“Four years is a long time for some people,” he said, noting there have been several resignations, starting with the mayor of Burns Lake. As the youngest mayor in B.C.’s history, Luke Strimbold resigned part way through his second term.
“As president I get to go to all these different communities and I’ve met with all sorts of people… For bigger cities it’s better, for smaller it’s harder.”
From SILGA, the motion is expected to go to the Union of BC Municipalities’ convention for consideration.