The Village of Pemberton (VOP) is seeking the approval of voters in taking out a $533,536 loan to purchase a new fire truck.
At its Nov. 17 meeting, council passed a recommendation to proceed with an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) for a triple combination pumper truck.
Electors will have until Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 4 p.m. to voice their opposition.
If 10 per cent of the electorate — or 190 of the village's 1,900 voters — are opposed, council won't move ahead with its borrowing.
Elector Response forms can be found on the village website at www.pemberton.ca or by stopping by the Village Office at 7400 Prospect Street in Pemberton.
Mayor Mike Richman said that holding the AAP over the holiday season is not ideal, but there are deadlines that must be met.
"If we were to extend it any further than that, we would risk losing the price that we were guaranteed upon at the beginning of this process," Richman said, adding that changes to the exchange rate could bump up the price of the truck by as much as $50,000 next year.
There's also the risk of insurance costs going up if the new truck isn't purchased, "which would be a significant cost to the taxpayers," Richman said.
"That's why we've chosen the route of long-term borrowing on the truck, which is year-to-year a much, much lower cost to taxpayers."
The impact to each residential taxpayer would be $19.50 annually, based on a $450,000 assessment, according to the VOP.
For more information, call the VOP office at 604-894-6135 or read the FAQ at www.pemberton.ca.
CRADDOCK SWORN IN
It didn't take long for newly re-elected VOP councillor Ted Craddock to make his voice heard at the council table.
At the same meeting at which he was sworn in, Craddock raised the issue of Airbnb, outlining a motion he'll soon bring forward to have the village better educate people around the legality of the online bed and breakfast services.
"This is something that has come up at the council table a couple of times, and we're keen on solving it, but we are a small town with limited capacity," Richman said, adding that the village has been keeping an eye on how other municipalities are handling the situation.
"But in the meantime it appears that councillor Craddock has put a notice of motion that we do some sort of education... not enforce so much, but to let people know that most homes aren't zoned for that sort of activity, and that there are issues surrounding it."
The issue will be discussed at an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting.
A total of 247 people cast votes in the Nov. 7 by-election — a voter turnout of 13 per cent.
Official election results have Craddock winning with 217 votes. Challenger Jasper Balsamo-Lack had 29.
"I'm happy to have a full table again," Richman said.
"Councillor Craddock brings a lot of good experience with him, so very pleased to have him back and just looking forward to moving ahead with business now that we're a full complement again."
The by-election cost the VOP about $6,500 — well below the budgeted $15,000.
TRANSIT FUTURE PLAN PRESENTED
Also at the Nov. 17 meeting, BC Transit gave a presentation on its Sea to Sky Transit Future Plan — a 25-year strategic document that provides direction for the future of transit in the corridor.
The report offers recommendations for the short term — like conducting a detailed review of the sustainability of the Pemberton Valley Transit System — as well as some more long-term goals like adding midday service on weekdays and expanding local transit to developing areas.
"I think there's a lot of good stuff there. I think they've identified the key needs for us," Richman said of the plan.
For Pemberton, there are two keys to transit, Richman said — getting people from the outlying areas into Pemberton, and getting Pembertonians to Whistler.
Richman said he'd like to see increased service between Pemberton and Whistler sooner rather than later.
"The service we have between Whistler and Pemberton is very well used. The ridership has gone up and it's at its highest level ever," he said.
"I think if we increased the service and made it more accessible — so that means an extra run during the day and an extra run in the evening — they would see the ridership increase dramatically with it."
The Sea to Sky Transit Future Plan will be before Whistler council on Dec. 1. Check back with Pique next week for more.
RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE WORKS
The VOP is moving to a public hearing in regards to amendments to zoning and its Official Community Plan.
The proposed amendments would allow for the development of up to 76 single-family lots and 28 multi-family residential units in Pemberton's '580' Hillside Lands.
An earlier plan to include a hotel and conference centre was removed from the applicant's plans. The listed applicant is 580049 Ltd. and Cam McIvor of Intuitive Management is listed as the agent.
The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in the VOP council chambers at 7400 Prospect Street.
"The hotel accommodation has been removed, so that's just to look at the zoning around the residential uses," Richman said.
"Whenever you're looking at a development like this you want to make sure that you're thinking of everything, so there's definitely been discussion on the table about making sure that trails and connectivity are allowed for and the development reflects the character of the area and that sort of thing.
"We're looking forward to hearing from the public on this one."
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