Town updates stance on meters
Council has reworked a previous motion dealing with “smart meters” in Oliver.
After hearing from local resident Judy Nicholas, an opponent of wireless meters, council decided to amend a resolution. Instead of asking for a moratorium on smart meters, the Town is asking the BC Utilities Commission to deny FortisBC’s application to install the new meters.
Water councillor Rick Machial said council was only hearing one side of the story. He noted the Town uses the same technology in its water meters.
Councillor Dave Mattes said he didn’t know whether the meters are good or bad, but voted in favour of the motion for financial reasons. He noted that changing the meters will likely result in increased rates for homeowners.
Poppy money well spent
Legion poppy chair Bertha Williams gave council a report on where annual poppy proceeds go.
She noted that funds pay for the annual veterans dinner in Oliver, as well as “treats” for veterans in care homes. In addition, three bursaries are handed out to graduating students, and this past year a veteran was assisted with accommodation expenses after being burned out of his apartment at Central Manor.
A hearing aid for a veteran was also paid for through the poppy fund, Williams said.
This year’s campaign started on October 26.
Council supports increasing benefit
The Town will write a letter to the provincial government to request that it increase the Persons with Disabilities benefit.
This was prompted by a letter from the City of Cranbrook that supports increasing the rate to a minimum of $1,200 a month to better reflect the cost of living in BC.
Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes said persons with disabilities receive less than $1,000 a month to live on.
“Imagine living on your own on $1,000 a month (while paying for rent, food and clothing),” the mayor said.
“It’s disheartening,” Councillor Dave Mattes agreed.
Mayor visits Tradewinds
Mayor Ron Hovanes told council he visited Tradewinds Mobile Home Park to see (and hear) firsthand the latest concerns from residents.
The mayor said the landlord (Gus Kirsch) has begun erecting a fence on the lakeshore (in front of people’s homes).
Although sympathetic, the mayor said there is not much the Town can do about it.
“I can see no practical purpose to the fence other than an irritant,” Hovanes told the Chronicle. I can only hope that the landlord and homeowners can reach some point of productive conversation to resolve all of the issues.”
Hovanes said council (two terms ago) passed a policy that if there was ever to be any consideration by council to rezone a manufactured park, that full dialogue would have to take place with the landlord and their tenants.
“It is my understanding that no application has ever been brought forth,” the mayor said.
Although the tenants have let it be known that there has been some stressful issues over the years, the Town has very little standing in their dispute, Hovanes said.
Structurlam deemed a success story
Mayor Ron Hovanes said the hiring of mostly local workers at Structurlam is a success story.
“Hiring 32 workers is the sound of people making money.”
The mayor said there are eight young employees on shift who are working very hard. Yes, the business does make a little noise, and some wood chips are blowing around, but the Town can live with that.