Letters to the Editor: August 21

Wake Enhancement; The Chicken Discussion; 100th Birthday

Wake Enhancement

New technology has brought fun and anger to the lakes in the form of powerful wake enhancement boats that produce large wakes for “surfing” behind. Those on board have fun; those in smaller boats, fishing, in canoes or kayaks, or on docks by shore don’t share the joy. Two to three foot waves pound the shoreline.

Boats in Moyie Lake have been sunk while moored at docks. Docks are being destroyed. The water on shoreline swimming areas is heavily muddied. The situation is further exacerbated by operators who love to cruise by close to shore.

A further problem is the probable introduction of invasive species of flora and fauna to previously native ecosystems. By filling ballast tanks and NOT fully cleansing them when moving wake boats from other lakes, alien species are spread. Moyie Lake now has sunfish, perch, shiners and new plant species that have been identified recently. They didn’t fly there!

Surely all users of lakes need to become aware of the huge impact these wake enhancement boats are having on our Kootenay waters. A serious discussion of these issues is imperative so all can share the pleasures of summer on the lake.

Brian Conrad/Moyie

Chickens, et al

Thank-you Mr. Pratt for your Letter to the Editor.  I appreciate your interest in Cranbrook and the opportunity it provides for me, as Mayor, to help inform the community.

It has been great to see the correspondence coming into Council from residents of all ages both for and against legalizing the keeping of chickens in Cranbrook.  There are a number of cities in B.C. that allow citizens to keep a limited number of hens for eggs under very specific conditions, so one could argue that the research has already been done and it can work.  However we want to explore the issue in a more holistic manner.

At the regular meeting of August 18, 2014, Council approved a motion I put forward to “add the development of an Urban Agricultural Strategy to the list of priority projects for consideration in the City’s 2015 Corporate Workplan and budget discussions.”  This strategy, which will include public involvement, will look at how we can encourage food security, support low income families with healthy locally grown fresh food, and benefit our economy.  Chickens will form part of that discussion. I look forward to hearing the community’s views and ideas on the potential for urban agriculture in Cranbrook.

We budget $3,000,000 a year for roads in Cranbrook plus $123,000 specifically in 2014 for pothole repairs.  Each year the first one percent of any property tax increase goes to fund road repairs.

The $200,000 allocated to redoing Clocktower Square, which is one of our city’s key features, includes replacing a main waterline under the square.  The city consulted with the Downtown Business Association on the design and we look forward to a warm and welcoming community space that will also attract tourists.

The total cost of removing the asbestos from the old Fire Hall is around $110,000, slightly under budget.  The good news is that this venerable historic building is now poised to take on a new important role in the revitalization of downtown Cranbrook!

The $74,000 for 14th Avenue included benches, bollards, and garbage receptacles.  I personally think 11 benches may be overkill and have asked staff to monitor usage with the idea of potentially moving some of the benches to other locations in the city.  We have lots of need for benches around Cranbrook! The pedestrian pathway and the bioswales along 14th Ave. are effective in keeping pedestrians, cyclists and water off the street.  Staff has been working to improve the look and the condition of the bioswales, which were becoming weed infested.

We listen to the concerns of our residents and do our best to respond as staff time and budgets permit, and our Council meetings reflect that.  The budgeting process that identified the projects referred to by Mr. Pratt came about through a series of public council meetings with an opportunity for public review and input before the budget was finalized.  I encourage all of our citizens to participate in that process to see just how difficult it is to meet the public’s interests and desires, as every community is a collection of people with personal preferences and special interests. That’s what makes being Mayor or a Councillor both challenging and interesting!

Mayor Wayne Stetski/Cranbrook

100th Birthday

Dear Daily Bulletin Editor;

Thank you for sharing this space in your paper for me. I want to send a hearty ‘THANK YOU’ to all my FAMILY and FRIENDS who made my 100th birthday such a memorable occasion for me. Believe me, it is wonderful to be 100 years old and to have the such special memories. Thanks to everyone!

Tory MacKinnon/Kimberley

PS:  Thanks to you for your photographic talents and for making me a headliner on your front page.