Pemberton council approves soccer grant 

The Pemberton Youth Soccer Association (PYSA) has a friend in the Village of Pemberton after council agreed to support its request for $2,500 from a Community Enhancement Fund.

The request, passed at the Nov. 18 council meeting, will give the association funds towards the purchase of soccer equipment and a gym rental at the old Pemberton Recreation Centre.

PYSA requested the grant because it needs off-season training opportunities for teams, as well as an indoor practice option when the weather turns in the fall, according to an application to the Community Enhancement Fund.

In terms of equipment, the association requested two portable indoor goals that cost $425 each, as well as two goal carry bags at $64 each. PYSA also requested 80 hours worth of gym rentals at $22 an hour.

The association expects to raise $355.36 though its fall bottle drive program, but the $2,500 would have covered the bulk of a total $2,855.36 to support the program.

Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy said in an interview that the village has a lease on the old recreation centre that will last until April, but the village also obtained an extension that will allow use of the facility for a year after that.

“The future of that whole site is something we’re working on as we speak,” he said.

Currently school buses are being parked at the site by the Howe Sound School District until the district can replace its bus garage and come up with a facility for all business in Whistler and Pemberton.

Until then the buses are parked at the old recreation centre, but people are still using the centre for indoor activities.

VOP council also approved a bylaw that will bring 911 service to Pemberton, after months of discussions.

Currently residents of the Village and Area C can only access 911 service through cellular phones and fire dispatch service is coordinated through the village. That could change soon now that the village has agreed to provide 911 service to residents through EComm, an emergency communications centre for southwest British Columbia.

Village officials were previously resistant to having EComm direct emergency services in the Pemberton area because of concerns that dispatchers were not familiar with the area.

That attitude has changed after Pemberton Fire Chief Russell Mack toured the EComm facility and was “very impressed,” according to Sturdy.

“I think he has more comfort now that the dispatching would be of the same calibre that we currently enjoy,” he said.

From here on in it could take approximately six months to get 911 service up and running in Pemberton, Sturdy said, a time period that will see the service extended also to Birken, Furry Creek and Pinecrest Estates.

“I think there needs to be some upgrades to their equipment, or communications equipment,” he said. “This is an enhanced 911 so that it requires the mapping and addressing all be completed, so that needs to take some time as well, because some of the areas don’t have actual street addresses.”

Village council also passed Bylaw 622, which will allow childcare facilities in its C-1 (town centre commercial) zone.

The bylaw came after Sea to Sky Community Services was looking to increase its child care options. For a number of years it’s been looking to relocate to new facilities and have its child care services operate at a single facility.

“I believe they have three locations currently,” Sturdy said. “Operating at one location would make a lot of sense.”

The bylaw will allow a childcare facility to be built on a lot between the building that houses Pemberton’s courthouse and a glass shop.

November 18 marked the last meeting that the current Pemberton council attended together. Sturdy will keep his seat and serve as mayor of the next council, while four new faces will be seen in the other council seats.

The new council will be sworn in Dec. 1 at the New Pemberton Community Centre.

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