Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes

Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes

Closure of railway crossing possible

Now that Coldstream’s grid road is complete, there is a risk of closing the old highway connection.

Now that Coldstream’s grid road is complete, there is a risk of closing the old highway connection.

The railway crossing at Kickwillie Loop and Westkal Road does not meet Transport Canada standards, therefore automatic crossing signals with motion sensors are being sought at the junction.

The proposed upgrade is part of an agreement between Coldstream and Kelowna Pacific Rail from the grid road project.

“The terms of the agreement were that it would either be improved or closed by Dec. 31, 2012,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

Coldstream does not have the funds to do the necessary upgrades (estimated at $260,426), therefore a grant is being sought to help out with the costs. If the funds are not acquired or found through other sources the crossing could be closed.

Westkal resident Daphne McKenzie says it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to shut down the connection – making Westkal even more peaceful.

But even if it stays open, there has already been an immense improvement on Westkal, thanks to the completion of College Way (grid road).

“The difference in traffic on Westkal is substantial in more ways than one,” said McKenzie, as far fewer cars are jumping speed bumps at her doorstep and pedestrians are no longer taking their lives into their hands on the road.

McKenzie applauds the efforts of Coldstream council for making the project finally come to fruition.

“I hope to see all of your names on the ballot in November,” said added.

Political opportunities

Politicians from throughout B.C. are preparing to get their communities on the provincial radar.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities annual convention runs Sept. 26 to 30 in Vancouver with various senior government officials.

In Coldstream, Mayor Jim Garlick is eager to get a few community projects confirmed and lined up with provincial authorities.

He plans on rubbing elbows with the minister of agriculture and minister of environment to get protection of Coldstream Creek on their radar.

He’ll also be inquiring about Highway 6 improvements, slated between Grey Road and Ricardo Road in 2012.

“I want to check up and talk with the minister and ensure that project is moving forward,” said Garlick.

Town centre evolving

Plans for the potential development of a town core in Coldstream are in the works.

Public feedback is being sought on a proposed town centre mixed use zone, which would facilitate development on Kalamalka Road in the vicinity of Coldstream Elementary.

“This is where the rubber hits the road if we ever want to develop properties,” said Michael Stamhuis, Coldstream’s chief administrative officer.

Conditions of the new zone include limiting buildings to two-storeys, buildings providing off-street parking and front yard setbacks of three metres.

A public meeting will take place Sept. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the municipal hall to gather public opinion.

The meeting follows a recent application from an owner of three Kalamalka Road properties applying for a zoning change on a portion of the agricultural properties to the proposed mixed-use zone.