Council briefs: Considers garburator ban; Approves facilities sharing; Requests firefighting support

Considers garburator ban
At its December 7 meeting, City of Powell River council directed staff to report on proposed amendments to Powell River’s existing sewer bylaw that would ban garburators from being installed in new construction and phase out their use in commercial kitchens, such as Powell River Regional Hospital, which garburates all of its food waste. The action was forwarded to council from the Sustainability Committee. It was reported that garburated food waste is discharged into the sanitary water sewer system and can clog pipes, which could negatively impact the city’s new wastewater treatment plant.

Approves facilities sharing
Council approved a revised joint use agreement between the city and School District 47. The agreement was first implemented in 1988 and last updated in 1992. It allows student programming and community organizations to hold events and activities in facilities owned by both organizations, such as gyms, theatres, sports fields and Powell River Recreation Complex.

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Requests firefighting support
Council will request an increase in provincial support under the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative to mitigate fire risk in wildland urban interface areas. The move is being taken following the devastating BC wildfires in the interior this past summer. Wildfire interface areas are where combustible forest fuel is found adjacent to homes, farm structures or other outbuildings. Most of the hazard areas exist outside the city’s boundary. The city, Powell River Regional District and Tla’amin Nation are participants in the plan. The first priority hazard is the city-owned portion of Penticton Trails, where planning began in 2016.

Discusses Marine Avenue holiday lights
The question of Christmas lights on Marine Avenue was raised at the December 5 committee of the whole meeting. City of Powell River chief administrative officer Mac Fraser said it was an issue the city could look into for next year. Lights that previously appeared on BC Hydro poles on Marine have been down for the past two years. Local hydro crews had previously volunteered to put up and remove the lights, but a BC Hydro spokesperson stated the company could no longer allow lights to be attached to its poles due to WorkSafeBC regulations.

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