Ripped Snowbike Days event participants break the ice with an afternoon ice block smashing contest put on by organizers Sledgehammers Apparel. File photo

Ripped Snowbike Days event participants break the ice with an afternoon ice block smashing contest put on by organizers Sledgehammers Apparel. File photo

Year in Review: February

The Eagle Valley News looks back at some of the headlines from February

  • Dec. 26, 2017 6:00 p.m.

• Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure officials are on the road. There is an increased presence because of the number of accidents and this winter and complaints about maintenance on the Trans-Canada Highway as it rolls through the Shuswap.

• Closure is no longer an option under consideration for Parkview Elementary. In a School District #83 newsletter released on Monday, Feb. 6, official trustee Mike McKay stated that as a result of many developments since last spring, he asked Sicamous K-12 task force and senior leadership team for input on the following options:

Configure Parkview Elementary as a K-5 elementary school and include early childhood education services in the school;

Configure Eagle River Secondary as a Grade 6-12 school and;

Allocate capital funds (local and through Ministry of Education grant process) to update Eagle River Secondary to ensure early childhood spaces are appropriate at Parkview Elementary.

• Sicamous’ new roundabout at Highway 97A and Main Street, was recognized as an excellent example of engineering and design. The firm behind the roundabout’s design, McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. of Vancouver, took top award for Design and Contract Preparation – Roads, at the 13th annual Deputy Minister’s Consulting Engineering Awards.

The roundabout was officially opened late 2016, and saw its first summer traffic this past year.

• The Ripped Snow bike Race and Family Days, a first for Sicamous, came to town in February. Put on by Sledgehammers Apparel, the District of Sicamous, and SLED Sicamous, the one day event was held Saturday, Feb. 11 at the dog park.

• Federal census data showed most Shuswap communities had seen growth in population over the past five years, but there are two exceptions: the Village of Chase and the District of Sicamous.

Chase saw an 8.4 per cent decline in total population, from 2,495 to 2,286, and Sicamous experienced a drop of 0.5 per cent, from 2,441 to 2,429, with a full-time population of 1,167.

“So the good news is that we’ve stabilized,” said Sicamous Town Manager Evan Parliament. “Because population is critical. Would we like to see it to be growing at a two-to-five percent click? Sure. But at least, as per the 2006-2011 period, where we dropped almost nine per cent, it looks like we’ve stopped and that’s encouraging because it’s all about the health of our schools, the health of our seniors, and, of course, the business community.”

• A new report suggests a majority of Sicamous residents disagree with politicians on which Bruhn Bridge replacement option is best for the community and region. A February 17 summary on the results of a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure public engagement process on the three proposed bridge replacements show what’s being referred to as Option 2 – a new five-lane structure to replace the 52-year-old Bruhn – as having the most public support at 65 per cent.

• Despite the possibility of keeping Sicamous’ Parkview Elementary school open as a K-5, the vast majority of people attending a school consultation meeting were more supportive of creating a K-12 school operating out of Eagle River Secondary. The final decision of the configuration will rest with Mike McKay, the appointed official school trustee for the school district.