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Recap – Harrison January 17 2022 Council Meeting – Chief Electoral Officer, Emergency Technology Software

Harrison Hot Spring – Gerry Palmer , Councilor for the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, provided a recap of the first council meeting for 2022.

Last night was our first Council meeting of the year, our last being December 20, 2021. I used that down time to contract Covid, infect most of my family, recover from it, and undertake my required period of isolation. And what did you do for your holiday season? Suffice it to say, I survived (sorry voters) and life has gone back to normal other than that I am constantly wearing N99 masks now.

Last night’s meeting was relatively brief.

A Development permit was approved for 470 Esplanade. This is the property which was originally proposed for approximately 40 units and six or seven stories that was refused by council. It returned a couple of months later as a 4 story 28 unit building requiring a relatively minor variance that was approved mid autumn. The actual plans have now been provided for a very attractive building with adequate parking. The Development permit was issued on a 4 to 1 vote. I supported the motion. (This is NOT the proposal at the former Bungalows site)

A chief election officer was appointed by council for the upcoming municipal elections, being one of our village managers, Rhonda Schell.

Council also approved a $3,000 annual expense for Emergency Notification software to improve warnings to the community for Emergencies.

The Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw that was put forward and approved in December was given final adoption. This is a bylaw that I am supportive of and have described in a previous council report. It allows a phased exemption for increased value in development of commercial space or residential rental spaces( in complexes of four or more units). It will not apply to “for sale” new condos or homes. At present, no one is building rental or commercial space. The addition of either would be good for our community. This final approval, I believe passed on a four to one vote.

I want to take this opportunity to thank village staff for their work in dealing with flooding and unusual snow falls in the last couple of months, particularly with the complications and absenteeism that Covid has caused.

Again, I do not speak for the Village or Council in the above report but merely myself

Councillor Michie Vidal added: Only other item under new business was a motion I put forward directing staff to develop a nomination-based annual award for volunteerism draft policy and bring it back to Council for consideration. The motion passsed. Our meetings are now available live on Zoom once again or you can review it in a couple of days on Youtube.

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