Rural building permits down

Building permit numbers for regional district rural areas are shockingly low for Spallumcheen’s mayor.

Building permit numbers for regional district rural areas are shockingly low for Spallumcheen’s mayor.

Will Hansma was reacting to township administrator Lynda Shykora’s report on October’s building permits for rural areas.

In the township, nine permits were issued for a total of $578,904. In October 2010, nine permits were issued for just under $900,000.

Through October 2011, the township has taken in nearly $4.7 million in building permits, compared to $8.5 million a year ago.

“It shows how poorly the economy is doing,” said Hansma, who was also referring to the overall numbers that take in Armstrong, Enderby, Lumby and electoral areas.

So far, in 2011, there have been 337 permits issued for a value of just more than $29 million. A year ago, through October, 370 permits had been issued for $64.6 million

Road work under budget

Three major road projects in the Township of Spallumcheen in 2011 all came in under budget.

Public works manager Ed Forslund told staff that the Salmon River Road rehabilitation project, budgeted at nearly $1.5 million, left more than $100,000 in surplus.

“The actual expenditures for the Salmon River Road project were $1,366,577.13, leaving a surplus of $100, 644.87 in the project budget,” said Forslund.

Full-depth reclamation and asphalt paving to extend the limits of the Salmon River Road project to Hallam Road, as well as a 750-metre section of Powerhouse Road, was also approved by council. There was $313,300 budgeted for that project, and it came in at $288,137.45, leaving more than $25,000 in surplus.

Work on Chamberlaine Road was budgeted for $12,790, and that came in at $11,860.37, leaving a surplus of just shy of $1,000.

No big impact with Resource Roads Act

Proposed changes to B.C.’s Resource Roads Act will not have a major impact on the township.

The province is currently reviewing maintenance and liability of natural resource roads. Among the key issues the province is trying to address is ensuring resource roads are built and maintained with due consideration to environmental impacts, and ensure that roads are open to everyone except as required to protect the road.

The province plans to identify one designated maintainer for each resource road who will maintain and repair the road.

While numerous towns and municipalities in B.C. are accessed by resource roads, and could be impacted by the proposed changes, public works manager Ed Forslund said the township is not the primary user of any local resource roads.

“There are two resource roads entering the township, one at the top of Chamberlaine Road and other off Back Enderby Road,” said Forslund. “The only impact that there could be on Chamberlaine Road would be no access for recreational users if the province deactivated the road.”

Baker Road, which enters the township at Back Enderby Road, is currently restricted by a locked gate, noted Forslund in his report.

Council voted unanimously to send a letter to the province asking that the township be notified and consulted before any proposed changes to any resource road bordering the township are made.