THE SOUTH SHUSWAP SCOOP
The Director’s Scoop News of Note from the CSRD
Paul Demenok Director, Electoral Area C (South Shuswap)
Key Issues and Priorities for 2019 I like to start each year by identifying key issues and priorities for the South Shuswap for the next 12 months and the action steps that will help us to realize the many opportunities before us. Fortunately, having had many meetings with residents of the South Shuswap over the past several months has enabled me to gather and share opinions and views about a wide variety of issues. Currently one of the most important issues because of the urgency and the potential danger involved, is to help the people who live along Newsome Creek, both above and below the TransCanada Highway, to reduce the risks to their homes, businesses, and properties from erosion. It is a complex problem that affects the entire Newsome Creek watershed, but also affects all of the residents of Sorrento with the boil water advisories that have occurred as a result of the creek flooding effects. It is critical that we receive help from the province to implement an emergency mitigation plan as soon as possible, but we also need to consider the longer-term concerns of the entire
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watershed, and all of the properties affected. An important action step will be to generate and communicate strong community support. In this regard, a community information meeting will be held at Sorrento Memorial Hall on Tuesday January 22 at 6:30 pm. I would encourage everyone to attend and participate in the process. You can learn more from the website at www.newsomecreek.ca. Early in 2019, the CSRD directors and staff will be meeting to work on a new Strategic Plan for this regional district. This is an exciting new project and I believe it will be an important step forward in meeting the needs of our community for years to come. In Area C in 2019, we will see new projects initiated as we move to implement several plans recently developed with significant community consultations. This includes implementation of the new Area C Parks Plan and the Shuswap Economic Development Plan. The Parks Plan, which is available for review on the CSRD website, outlines a series of projects over the next 10 years which will improve the quality and quantity of parks across the South Shuswap. As access to parks is a major contributor to quality of life, I am very supportive of seeing this plan implemented to the fullest extent possible. The Shuswap Economic Development Plan will largely be dependent upon receipt of grants, including a very large grant application with the BC Rural Dividend Fund. Obtaining this grant will enable implementation of the Shuswap Agricultural Plan and a number of other initiatives designed to encourage new and expanded business investments in our region. As outlined in a previous column, another very high priority for the South Shuswap is the development of a liquid waste treatment system. There should be a considerable effort put forward in 2019 on this priority, including an appeal to the ALC. Early in 2019, it’s anticipated that we will be following up with the province in order to obtain funding for a restructuring study of the South Shuswap. In 2018, we contracted the Shuswap Trail Alliance to conduct a mapping exercise of the South Shuswap peninsula to determine if there may be an opportunity to develop a major destination trail network in that area. While we await a final report, a preliminary presentation of the findings suggests that we do have an area with significant tourism potential. There are many other key issues and priorities to discuss, but they cannot all be covered here at this time. As new developments occur, I will provide ongoing updates in this column.
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