Mayor says ODN doesn’t speak for council
Photos and captions on this site apparently prompted Mayor Ron Hovanes to assure one senior town staff member and one local business that Oliver Daily News doesn’t represent the official views of the town council.
Two letters, both dated May 3, were included in Monday’s council correspondence file over the mayor’s signature.
The first photo showed an untended strip of grass and other vegetation between two strips of pavement. The caption read: “Is this really a park?”
The mayor’s letter to operations director Shawn Goodsell pointed out that it is understood that the plantings in the linear park on Fairview Road need time to mature before regular maintenance can occur.
“Please ensure that all public works staff are aware that council is not critical of the daily operations necessary to maintain … parks and infrastructure,” he wrote.
The second letter concerned a photo of piles of building and other materials just inside a fence at the airport. The caption read: “Pleasant View Drive.”
The mayor’s letter to Transwest Helicopters emphasized the importance of the company. “(It) plays a key role in the town’s economic stability and your commitment … is appreciated,” he wrote.
“This caption and photo in no way represents Oliver council. … (P)lease accept this apology and wishes for a healthy 2016,” Hovanes wrote.
Sidewalks approved for Fairview and Spartan
Council on Monday approved a construction plan that will see new concrete curbs and gutters and sidewalks along Fairview Drive and Spartan Street.
The $359,415 contract was awarded to Mike Johnson Excavating and is $91,700 below the amount budgeted for the project.
Council also approved a proposal from staff to use some of the saved funds to extend the sidewalk on the south side of Spartan Street from the South Okanagan Secondary School entrance, past Fairview all the way to Rockcliffe Road.
The Fairview Road part of the project will see curb, gutter and sidewalk construction on the south side of the street between Main and Co-op as well as an overlay of the roadway.
Town offers surplus land for sale
The town is offering for sale a lot in the industrial area for which it has no current or foreseeable use.
In a “rise and report” section of council’s agenda on Monday, acting mayor Jack Bennest said the decision was made at an in-camera session of council earlier in the day.
The vacant lot in question is at 5895 Hemlock. The town will entertain offers from anyone interested in buying it.
Fire protection plans in the works
Two fire protection processes will begin shortly in Oliver in the wake of last year’s wildfires that threatened the town and led to fire protection grants being awarded.
In a presentation to council Monday, John Davies of Valhalla Environmental Consulting described the Community Wildfire Protection plan (CWPP) process.
It will involve an assessment of the fire risks in the public areas of the town and recommendations for lowering the danger, primarily by reducing the amount of fuel available for a wildfire. In many cases, he said, trees and underbrush will be thinned leaving less flammable material on the ground.
Under the FireSmart program, neighborhoods are encouraged to take the lead in developing a plan to change private property from a potential source of fuel to a fire break.