Greenwood Council: City loses major funding; Councillors work to beautify city

Shara JJ Cooper
By Shara JJ Cooper
April 19th, 2013

The City of Greenwood has taken a financial hit this year. Instead of getting $426,960 from the provincial Strategic Community Investment Fund, the city will get $228,080. This news really hurts the community, according to Mayor Nipper Kettle.

“This will hit us very hard so we will have to really watch where and how we prioritize spending,” he said on his Facebook page.

The city will hold their regular budget meeting May 5 to discuss what will happen and what kind of cuts will be made.

“We might not be able to do some of our plans,” said Kettle. “Or we might need to bow out of some services.

This money is dearly needed for the small community, which gets 70 per cent of its funding from municipal taxes. Each year the city shells out more than $300,000 to local services with some of the biggest amounts going to School District 51 Boundary, The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the RCMP.

Since most of the money comes from the pockets of residents, Kettle encourages everyone to come out and voice their opinion at the budget meeting.

“The meeting is open and we always allow input,” said Kettle. “People should be coming to see what is happening.”

Kettle works hard to keep an open relationship with the public, which he does partly through Facebook.

“I believe in keeping the government accountable,” he said.

City looks for a solution to the Anaconda water supply

The City of Greenwood is working with the Regional District of the Kootenay Boundary to find a solution to Anaconda’s water supply.

Currently, Anaconda is getting water from Greenwood’s wells but they are paying the same rates as Greenwood residents. Concern has been raised because of the extra cost needed to pipe the water uphill to Anaconda. Not only that, but the residents have concerns about the state of the pipes and make reports of them leaking.

Greenwood gets $15 for each ratepayer that uses the water in Anaconda but that totals $8,000.

“You couldn’t put a shovel in the ground for $8,000 these days,” said Kettle.

 A long-term solution is needed so Kettle is working with Area D director Bill Baird to get something better in place. The RDKB has approved an engineering study to see what their next step is. The study will cost $15,000.

“We are prepared to move forward,” said Kettle.

Water mains to be replaced

The city has been looking to replace its water mains and the project is finally underway. The project was put to tender and they received five quotes. The best bid was for $382,315 from Cantext-Okanagan Construction Ltd.

“This work will be starting soon,” said Kettle. “This was the lower of all the quotes and Cantex has a very good reputation of work in this field.”

Plans made to clean-up and beautify the city

Council members decide to tidy up some of the city’s features. They are going to start by tearing down the boards at the outdoor skating rink and cleaning up the surfaces.

“It is felt that since we rarely get temperatures cold enough for lengthy periods of time skating, and the condition of the boards and surfaces are not only an eyesore but are hazardous, the right thing to do is get rid of them and turn the property back into a useable piece of investment,” said Kettle on his Facebook page.

Councillors are hoping they can find another location for an outdoor skating rink and that they can salvage the existing washrooms for public use.

In addition to removing the skating rink, they are also going to tear down the gazebo in City Park. The gazebo is too old to be used but councillors are hopeful they can replace it in the near future. This would be a covered area with access to electricity.

The band shell is also on its way out as is the platform around the Phoenix monument. Both have been deemed structurally unsound and dangerous. The Phoenix platform will be replaced.

On the same theme, the City of Greenwood is holding their annual “Clean-Up Week,” May 21 to 23. This week is also National Public Works Week so on May 24th the public works staff will show off the equipment they use around town.

“All of these items negatively affect the appearance of our city and are eyesores for everyone and we must act in a positive way to improve our cityscape,” said Kettle. “We hope to look for funding opportunities in the very near future to build a new “gathering place” and have it located within City Park.”

Categories: GeneralPolitics