Armstrong drafts new plan

Armstrong’s official community plan is at the draft stage

Armstrong’s official community plan is at the draft stage.

Council gave unanimous approval to first reading of its OCP bylaw.

The plan is designed to guide decisions on land use and management within city boundaries.

Extensive consultation on the plan began in 2012.

“Council feels confident we did a significant amount of public consultation,” said Coun. Ryan Nitchie.

The document will be available to peruse at city hall or on the city’s website, A copy may also be placed at the city’s Okanagan Regional Library branch.

The bylaw will be sent to the board of the Regional District of North Okanagan, School District 83, the Township of Spallumcheen, Okanagan Indian Band and Splatsin First Nation for its approval before being brought back to council for second reading.

Once second reading has taken place, a public hearing on the OCP will be scheduled which allow citizens a chance to make more comments or ask questions.

Arts funding approved

A proposed arts and food festival in Armstrong will receive funding help from the city.

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Arts Council Society (SPARC) requested funds to help with their planned three-day Chalk Art and Food Festival May 30, 31 and June 1 in downtown.

The city approved $2,000 for the event. The Township of Spallumcheen is also committing funds.

“This opportunity to have some arts and culture in Armstrong has been talked about for a long, long time,” said Coun. Shirley Fowler. “I think it’s good for council to support them and give them a start. This is a good idea.”

SPARC plans to give artists a measured space on the downtown streets to create a chalk painting. There will be chalk art workshops on the Friday, a proposed wine and food tasting on Saturday, music  throughout the weekend, and wrapping up on Sunday with an awards presentation.

Fire system upgrades

Three recent false alarms at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery raised some alarms to the age of the building’s fire control panel.

The museum is equipped with a single-zone fire alarm system including integrated sprinklers along the eastern side of the building.

Prior to Christmas, there were three false alarms in two weeks.

“An assessment was done and it was determined the alarm panel was malfunctioning and needed to be replaced,” said Coun. Ryan Nitchie of the city’s finance committee.

An assessment was also done on other systems within the building and it was discovered some upgrades were required.

Council voted unanimously on a museum request to pre-approve funding for upgrades to the panel and other systems to a maximum of slightly more than $2,900.

Dunn Road

The city awarded General Assembly Excavating the tender for the Dunn Road upgrades.

The company, which has completed past capital works projects for the city, was the lowest of five bidders at $624,274.97.

An engineer’s estimate cost of the project is $603,041.25.

The proposed schedule has an anticipated start date of May 5, and hopes to have it finished by Aug. 8.

Chamber week

The city has declared Feb. 17 to 24 as Chamber of Commerce Week in Armstrong.

“The chamber does great work for our community and the township,” said Mayor Chris Pieper.

Downtown parking

The chamber will send out a letter to business owners encouraging them not to park in front of their business to take away parking spots from customers.

“The city purchased a lot adjacent to Co-Op a few years ago when this problem first came up,” said city administrator Patti Ferguson. “Owners can park there at no cost and leave the limited spots in front of their business for customers.”