If you live in the Marron Valley area – breath a sigh of relief – your location not on the list of any kind for a compost site in the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen.
Unanimous vote in committee today that Summerland rises to the top of the list – if the council and citizens of the District (Summerland) says YES OKAY – but even that is up in the air.
Let’s start again.
Marron Valley chosen by staff as Number one site for a compost facility in the future.
Summerland chosen by staff as Number two site
Oliver chosen by staff as Number three site.
Whether in jest or not RDOS Area C director Terry Schafer says ” Put Oliver on the list! “. Mayor Ron Hovanes sitting to Schafer’s left states: ” My council might want to be heard on this “. (a bit caught off guard).
The gallery at the Regional District board room full with residents of Marron Valley who got what they came for with most if not everyone in the room saying – respect democracy – the public has spoken – that an RDOS facility should not be built on ‘locatee’ land inside the boundaries of the Penticton Indian Band.
Summerland Director Toni Boot asked about procedure. CAO Bill Newell told the meeting that it’s now up to the council of the District (Summerland) to negotiate a land lease with the RDOS. That means, he says, more studies and reports that would be addressed to Summerland and its citizens before it returns to the Regional District.
Summerland Mayor Peter Waterman says he is fine with the decision but wants to make it clear – this will not pass muster with the citizens unless the 15-21 million dollar facility is built to the highest standards so that odour is not an issue – that the building is totally self contained and once inside – compost material will not smell or leach into the ground.
Waterman also states that one condition of his support is that the compost is ONLY from the RDOS.
It was revealed during the meeting that parts of the study on site choices and odour control paid for by the Central Okanagan Regional District that wants to export its compost waste.
Garbage and Recycling expert Cameron Baughen confirmed this detail to ODN and the Penticton Herald in a scrum outside the board room. Baughen would not say how much was paid by CORD.
This fact revealed by Director Tom Siddon. Siddon also took exception to the CAO, Bill Newell entering into the debate while recommendations were being discussed. Siddon says it is critical to get Summerland to approve the plan and that all concerns be studied and mitigated.
(for the curious –
Marron Valley is an inhabited locality and former post office in the South Okanagan region of the Southern Interior located to the west of Skaha Lake.
Named in association with the Marron River, a post office was first opened in 1909 as Marron Lake. The post office was re-designated Marron Valley in 1924. The Geological Survey of Canada map for 1936 show “Marron Valley (town)” though this was downgraded to “Marron Valley (settlement)” in 1954)