Diana Gravelle (left) and Alisia Strautins, of Traine Construction, volunteer by constructing the rooftop deck, at the Habitat for Humanity triplex, Wednesday on 35th Avenue. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Construction steady, farms in focus, culture supported

District of Coldstream building statistics remain strong

Construction remains strong in Coldstream.

For the month of June, a total of 22 permits were issued with a total construction value of $3.7 million.

“This compares to 19 permits and construction value of $4,302,000 for the same month last year,” said Bob Bibby, building inspector.

Meanwhile the overall building statistics for the year are above 2016.

“The number of housing units in 2017 is four more than last year, but overall value of permits issued is double last year.”

Farming in focus

Coldstream is putting agriculture on the agenda at UBCM.

Enforcement on agricultural lands and farm complaints are main points Coldstream is looking to discuss with the Ministry of Agriculture at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver Sept. 25-29.

“The last couple of years we’ve had several different issues with enforcement of ALR,” said Trevor Seibel, Coldstream’s chief administrative officer.

Coldstream is still concerned with manure management following the water contamination in 2010 which ended up in court and led to fines against the district and a local farm.

Spallumcheen has also been struggling with similar issues with water contamination and the Hullcar aquifer and government dealings.

Another concern in Coldstream is farm complaints.

“What’s normal farm practice and how does the ministry determine that?” questions Mayor Jim Garlick.

Therefore Coldstream is hoping to get a facilitated workshop for municipalities dealing with issues.

Cultural boost

Some support is flowing in from officials in Coldstream for a cultural facility in Vernon.

Plans for a multi-use cultural facility are being worked out for a possible borrowing referendum for 2018.

Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick suggests the art gallery component would be in the $12 million range, while the museum portion would be approximately $25 million.

“I’m sure that it would be close to $40 million,” said Garlick, adding: “We need to have something that’s reasonable that we can all support.”

Considering the debt for the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre should be paid off by 2020, the timing of a new expense is fitting, says Coun. Pat Cochrane.

“It actually makes sense to put something together for 2018 because you wouldn’t start paying for something until those (other debts) are finished,” said Cochrane.

He is hopefully that the art gallery and museum are given a shot at a new facility.

“They do deserve the chance.”