Milfoil cutting to be replaced by rototilling
It’s that time of year when the Okanagan Basin Water Board switches from harvesting the Eurasian milfoil plants in Osoyoos Lake to rototilling, in the hopes of reducing the weed level.
According to release from the water board, rototilling is the more effective method for controlling the noxious weed, but it can only be done when the water temperatures have dropped to the point where dislodged root fragments won’t re-seed themselves.
In the warm-season harvesting the milfoil, the plants are simply lopped off about two metres below the surface. The cuttings are then dumped on shore and trucked away. Harvesting is essentially a cosmetic process, which does nothing to reduce the number of milfoil plants in the lake.
Rototilling is more expensive than harvesting – about $2,500 per hectare compared to about $1,000 – but the process actually gets rid of some of the plants.
Canal lighting contract goes to local firm
A local electrical contractor has been awarded the contract to complete a section of lighting installation along the canal trail.
Lowther Electric will install the additional poles onto the bases that were put in last year along the section of the trail just south of Highway 3.
Lowther’s $12,229 bid was about $300 lower than one from Balogh Electric. Councillor CJ Rhodes said it was heartening to see that the two lowest bidders are local Osoyoos companies.
The installation is intended to be completed before the end of October. Funding is under the provincial Resort Municipalities Initiative (RMI) program. The 15 decorative poles were purchased earlier for $45,930.
UBCM gabfest attracts a crowd
The mayor and a couple of councillors offered up reports on their experiences at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention at Whistler last week.
Mayor Sue McKortoff, Councillors Jim King and Carol Youngberg and town Chief Administrative Officer Barry Romanko attended the five-day gathering of local politicians, which featured plenary sessions, study sessions, forums, clinics, workshops and town halls on a wide array of topics and keynote speeches from the premier and other provincial notables.
One of the key aspects of the annual get together is the chance for delegations to meet with individual members of the provincial cabinet. King mentioned a meeting with education minister Rob Fleming, who said he is working on a funding formula to help keep rural schools open. “I have no idea what the formula is, but it sounded positive,” said King.
Youngberg was excited about discussions with transport minister Claire Trevena about the progress that seems to be occurring around golf cart licensing. “I’ve always had a vision that Osoyoos could be a little golf cart haven for some of us who love to drive them, since I used to go to the golf cart parade in Palm Desert for many years,” she said.
Youngberg, however, won’t be able to champion the licensing of golf carts on town roads because she has decided not to run to retain her seat on council in next month’s election.
McKortoff mentioned that when the town’s delegates visited the various ministers, “We took them each a bottle of Faustino local cider. And they were quite delighted. … We think it might put us on a slightly higher plane, and they’ll remember us.”
The convention began last Monday morning and continued through Friday noon, wrapping up with a pre-lunch speech from Premier John Horgan.
The early-bird registration fee for the event is $475. Hotels listed on the UBCM website averaged about $200 per night. So, the cost of sending the four-person delegation was likely in the neighbourhood of $6,000 plus transportation and meals.