Council okays $4.6-million contract for sewer pump station
Sometime after Labour Day work will likely begin at the Kingfisher and 89th Street intersection, site of the town’s new multi-million-dollar sewage lift station. Council on Monday approved a $4.6-million contract with Cumming Construction to replace the facility, which is responsible for getting about 95 per cent of the town’s raw sewage up to the treatment facility near the Osoyoos Golf Club. The lift station will accommodate the community’s needs for the next 40 years, said operations director Jim Dinwoodie.
He noted that the contract includes three rather than the four in the original plans. He said having four pumps would provide “100 per cent redundancy,” since only two pumps operate at any one time.
But three pumps will provide adequate backup at least to the year 2034, he said. The council in place in 15 years will have to deal with the issue. Dinwoodie said the contractor may do some soil sampling during the summer, but actual construction won’t begin until the fall.
Town signs on to visiting doctor housing plan
Osoyoos has joined with three other local governments to provide housing for visiting doctors who help cover shifts at the South Okanagan General Hospital (SOGH) emergency department. Osoyoos, Oliver and the regional district Areas A and C will pay the $900 per month lease on an apartment about three blocks from the hospital in Oliver. The Osoyoos share will be $3,000 for the year. The agreement follows a request from Interior Health (IH) to help with the chronic housing problem of so-called “locum” physicians who come to the area to cover doctors’ vacation time and shifts at the SOGH emergency. “With a dedicated residence close to SOGH, we could ensure easily accessible and comfortable housing for out-of-town physicians travelling to work in our communities,” said the letter from IH. Councillor Brian Harvey said his understanding was that the locums would pay for at least some of the cost. “I understood there would be housing available, as opposed to free housing,” he said. Chief administrative officer Barry Romanko said he will investigate and report back.
Street food vendors eyeing Osoyoos opportunities
Mini-donuts, Thai ice cream and Portuguese baked goods are among the possible options that have already been proposed as the town moves forward with its new street food vendor policy. Planning director Gina MacKay said she has already seen several proposals, including those three, as vendors consider taking advantage of opportunities in the new business licence bylaw, which council voted Monday to adopt.
The bylaw specifies several parks as suitable for food trucks or carts, including:
Arena/Curling Rink/Skateboard Park;
Kinsman Park; and
MacKay told council that the locations are available to successful licence applicants on a first-come-first-served basis.
Wibit project afloat again as town seeks licence
The Wibit Water Park proposal seems to be back on track after a long delay as council voted Monday to enter an agreement with the province to licence to use the lake adjacent to the lawn bowling club at Gyro Beach. Wibit is essentially a large, inflatable plastic floating playground operated by a private company on the lake. The company operates similar facilities in Penticton, Peachland and Kelowna.
According to a report to council from community services director Gerald Davis, the operators will pay the town between $11,000 and $13,000 per year in licensing and sub-lease fees. Okanagan Wibit had hoped to open in Osoyoos last year, but the provincial body charged with providing the lease was caught up in flood issues and was unable to proceed.
Town AGM set for June 17 at town hall
The town’s annual general meeting will be held on Monday, June 17 at 1 pm in council chambers.
The meeting is an opportunity for the public to address members of council and senior staff.
The town is required under provincial legislation to prepare an annual report and to hold and AGM before the end of June. Council’s regular meeting will follow the AGM.
by Roy Wood