As I watched the last hours of 2019 slip away I looked back at all the events of the year.
The year was a learning experience that is by any definition intense. With the RDOS protocol and procedure are the first things that must be learned if you hope to accomplish anything at all and it is easy to get the feeling that the system is dedicated to preventing any accomplishment.
After the first few months with lots of direction from the staff and the more senior members of the board the paths start to become a little clearer but the system is slow moving by design and can be very frustrating to come to grips with. That being said there were some accomplishment and projects started.
The most important goal attained in 2019 was managing to get the four Areas “A, B, C, and G” that would have direct contact with the proposed national park actively included in the discussions. The residents that could find themselves surrounded or adjacent to the proposed park deserve to have their questions answered in a proper manner and those answers and assurances need to be documented.
The opportunity to aid in the upgrade of the small wheels skateboard park was very fulfilling and I am happy to see the main part complete and ready for landscaping.
I am also very happy to be part of the Community Safety & Crime Prevention Committee as put together by Mayor Johansen. This has been slow to get going but is starting to produce some innovative solutions and is likely to be one of the most important committees for this community.
I am also on the Okanagan Basin Water Board and I am starting to see our water in a new light. I am looking forward to seeing the completion of the Okanagan River Channel bathymetry study this year. That may answer some serious question on flood control.
Many of the flooding upgrades were started before I came on board but I am no less pleased to see many of these components being completed.
- The Park Rill flood study.
- MOTI’s many culvert upgrades.
- Road 6 to 9 drainage and discharge to river.
- Park Rill creek river discharge upgrade.
Recently two of the planned private land culverts on Sportsman’s Bowl Rd. were completed. These two prevented access of two properties and took way too long to get done. These culverts along with issues into desilting of creeks that run through private properties are two topics I will be continuing discussions with the province on.
Safety on our back roads is becoming an issue and I am working with MOTI to establish warning signage as designated by our official Agriculture Plan. More and more non local traffic is finding its way onto the back roads without knowledge of agricultural activities or livestock hazards that exist.
Funding for small volunteer fire departments is still an ongoing issue but I was able to fund uniforms for the Fire Chief and Deputy Chief of the Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Department and will keep talking with officials on allowing gas tax funding for equipment upgrades.
Those are a few of the many things that 2019 has seen.
What are some of the topics to be looked at for 2020,
- Establishing the river channel as the official hike and bike trail, to include upgrading, paving and maintenance from McCalpine Bridge to Osoyoos Lake.
- Establishing a service area to effect the flood mitigations described in the Park Rill study for the Sportsman’s Bowl area.
- Discussions with Emergency services into the desilting of Kearns Creek.
- I will continue to support the town of Oliver in seeking federal funding for the Siphon repair.
- Creating a flood hazard study for the creeks south west of Oliver, Fairview, Tinhorn, Hester and Testilinda.
- Establishing a new burn bylaw.
- Considering the establishment of a trench burner program for farm and forest fuel reductions.
- Complete the waste food composting program for the Oliver land fill.
- Carry on with the Community Safety & Crime Prevention programs.
- Upgrade the illegal dumping and pollution bylaws.
These are just a few of the items to look at in 2020, there are many more.
I look forward to the next year with anticipation and hope to serve you all well.