Pemberton prepares for heavy rain event 

Council Briefs: BC Hydro building plans; mental health collaborative supported

click to enlarge WWW.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM - WET WEEK The Village of Pemberton is bracing for some wet days ahead.

Pemberton is bracing for heavy rain and the potential of flooding.

According to Environment Canada and the BC Forecast Centre, the community is on track to receive up to 80 millimetres of precipitation by Thursday, Nov. 23.

Heavy rain and melting snow could affect low-lying areas and creeks and canals, explained Village of Pemberton (VOP) mayor Mike Richman following the regular council meeting Nov. 21

"It's a classic set of conditions for us," he said.

Richman added that the community would monitor risky areas like the Lil'wat River, Arn Canal, the Pemberton Creek and surrounding neighbourhoods.

The VOP has arranged to have a sandbagging station at municipal hall (7400 Prospect St).

"If people need sand bags, we will make that available to them," said Richman, who encouraged residents to clean out debris from gutters and driveway culverts as well.

The community's last big flood was in 2003, he recalled.

"But every second year, there's one form or another of a high water event — not necessarily a flooding event," he said.

BC Hydro building

At the council meeting on Nov. 21, the VOP took a look at changes planned for a BC Hydro building, which sits on 1363 Aster St.

Plans for the structure, which include a new field office building and a covered storage area, were first brought to VOP council at a July 25 council meeting.

At that meeting, council asked BC Hydro to ensure the building is visually appealing and to hold an open house.

Held on Oct. 26, the open house received 25 visitors, and BC Hydro received seven comments on its plans.

Those comments were broken down in a package sent to council by BC Hydro.

Six were supportive of the building design, and two were supportive of the planned trees and vegetation.

"Dialogue was generally positive, with participants providing input on a wide-range of interests and considerations regarding the project," said the report.

Council, however, received one letter from someone opposed to the new building.

The letter took issue with the project, suggesting that it's time for BC Hydro to leave the space and move to Pemberton's industrial park.

The next step for the project is a public hearing, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 5 at municipal hall.

"They're trying to make it visually appealing. I'm satisfied that they have made efforts," said Richman.

"What I want is to hear from the public, to see if they think it's appropriate and like the design."

Mental health collaborative supported

Council also passed a resolution to support a mental health collaborative aimed at combatting youth suicide.

The collaborative, known as Pemberton's Child Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative, is aimed at improving mental health for children and youth.

It arranges meetings for mental health workers and develops initiatives aimed at preventing suicide.

The collaborative has developed three suicide toolkits — for parents, youth, and mental heath professionals.

Funding for the collaborative, which is provided by Doctors of BC and the province, runs out in December.

With that in mind the VOP council decided it would put pressure on the province to commit to funding it.

"We are renewing our advocacy to try to help them renew their funding," explained Richman, adding that it's especially important to support given the province's opioid crisis.

This kind of program can help steer vulnerable kids away from using drugs, he explained.

"To me this is a front-end part of the solution," said Richman.

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