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Kent Council Highlights from April 26 – COVID Protocol, Street Banners

Kent/Agassiz – Here are the Kent Council Highlights from the April 26 meeting:

COVID-19 Update

While in virtual attendance at Community Leadership meeting, Councillor Spaeti learned that numbers of COVID-19 positive cases requiring hospitalization is rising and it is believed that wave three numbers in the hospital have not yet peaked.

As hospital staff are showing signs of fatigue, they are encouraging the community to do their part by wearing masks, washing hands, and getting vaccinated when it is available to them.

Thank you again to all the volunteers who have helped at the vaccination clinics at Agricultural Hall.

Outdoor Patios

Council approved waiving minimum parking requirements for businesses in the District of Kent to permit outdoors patios in the parking stalls while the Public Health Order prohibiting indoor dining is in effect.

To reduce the hardships presented by the COVID-19 restrictions, many municipalities have been accommodating temporary outdoor patio uses. Temporary outdoor patios provide a creative alternative for businesses to continue to serve customers and keep their employees working.

Businesses will still be required to adhere to the following:

  • Requirements related to Business licencing, Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, and anything related to the normal operation of their establishments.
  • COVID-19 safety measurements including a COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols.
  • Only temporary structures will be permitted in the parking space and should be easily removable. Permanent structures and alterations are not permitted.
  • The outdoor patio must be on private property. The District will work with businesses where it falls on District property. An encroachment agreement absolving the municipality from harm and liability would have to be executed.

The following will need to be submitted to the District by the business:

  • A plan showing the temporary patio area and revised parking area, and
  • A written statement acknowledging the outdoor patio use is temporary, all structures are easily removable, and the waived parking requirements will be reviewed by the District following the end of the Provincial COVID-19 restrictions as they pertain to indoor dining.

Please contact Development Services at 604-796-2235 or planning@kentbc.ca.

Special (Open) Meeting

During the Special Meeting, the audit findings report for the year ended December 31, 2020 was presented to Council as prepared by KPMG LLP. Presentation material is included in the agenda which can be viewed on our website at kentbc.ca/agendas/.

The audit findings report along with financial statements will also be made available to the public in the 2020 Annual Report which will be published late June.

The District of Kent has been a recipient of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting since 2007.

Past reports can be found on our website at kentbc.ca/financial. For more information, please contact the Director of Financial Services at 604-796-2235 or info@kentbc.ca.

Update on Agricultural Plastics

The Agricultural Plastics Committee continues to work with CleanFarms, which is a non-profit environmental stewardship organization that works collaboratively with its members, partner agencies, and the government to ensure that Canadian farmers can actively contribute to a healthy environment and sustainable future.

CleanFarms is helping to receive the plastics which will go to a recycling firm and not to the landfill. The District is part of their pilot project which provides preliminary estimates of the volume of ag plastics.

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Strategic Program (CASPP).

To learn more about CleanFarms, please visit their website at cleanfarms.ca.

Bat Packs

The Fraser Valley Regional Library Board is offering Bat Packs for loan, which are part of The Playground at Fraser Valley Regional Library.

The Bat Packs come complete with an echo meter bat detector device, provide borrowers an opportunity to develop an understanding, appreciation, and support for bats.

More information can be found by visiting the FVRL website at: fvrl.bc.ca.

Harrison Agassiz Chamber of Commerce

Councillor Spaeti attended the Harrison Agassiz Chamber of Commerce zoom meeting and reported that the Chamber of Commerce will be offering five free webinars for their members beginning May 4, 2021. Information can be found on their website at: harrison.ca.

The Chamber is also looking to hire a part-time contract worker to assist with promotion, reports, and membership. If this sounds like an opportunity for you, please email resumes to Harrison Agassiz Chamber of Commerce at BOX 429, Harrison Hot Springs, V0M 1K0.

Capstone Interviews

Mayor Pranger along with Councillor Spaeti had the pleasure of participating in the Agassiz Elementary Secondary School Capstone interviews.

Grade 12 students created a portfolio of their achievements as well as their future goals. Due to COVID, this year’s presentations were done through an online platform and screen shared with their interviewer. Both the Mayor and Councillor were pleased with how proficient the students were in their presentations and in answering questions as well as the positive outlook they have for their futures. Good luck to all!

Banners for Downtown & Centennial Park

As part of the initiatives in continued celebration and beautifying of the community in honour of our 125th Anniversary, Council approved light banners for the downtown and Centennial Park. The banners will feature a photo of Mount Cheam with the Experience Agassiz logo.

The revised 125th budget of $40,000 was approved by Council, using the District’s contributions. The purchase of the banners will be approximately $4,500. The remaining budget will be allotted to banner hardware, installation, and the Remembrance Day banners.

2021 Census

Census collection will begin on May 3, 2021. Statistics Canada has adapted the collection process to ensure that all Canadians and their employees remain safe while participating in this vital national exercise. Data collected in the 2021 Census will inform many of the economic and health-related policy decisions that must be made by all levels of government in the coming months and years, as the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the lives of Canadians.

Census data is used for planning schools, hospitals, daycare centres, family services, public transportation, and skills training for employment.

You can complete your census questionnaire online. It is an easy, secure, and convenient option that can be used anywhere, anytime. No pre-registration or lengthy download processes are required.

Information can be found at Statistics Canada at: census.gc.ca.

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