Another ski season behind us. We did experience some varied snow conditions through March but most of us were not predicting total winter like conditions for the final week of the season. What a great wind-up weekend but it is now time for the snow to stop. We are looking forward to a very busy summer season. The next few weeks will all be about community clean-up and removal of the sand and grit from the roads and trails while the winter snows melt away. Please drive slowly when the roads are dry and there will be lots of dust in the air over the next month.
This summer is going to be very busy on the construction front.
The Sun Peaks Plaza project is nearing the final planning stage. A review committee including Tourism Sun Peaks members and a representative from the Rotary Club are working with the design and building consultants. We will post the plan as this work is completed. No decision on the swimming pool yet as we are awaiting a consultant’s report on the costs to repair and bring the pool back into operation if possible. My personal hope is that we can get the pool up and operational at a price the community can afford.
We are also finalizing a plan to move the tennis courts out to the East end of P5 in order to build the Sun Peaks Plaza in that location. This plan is just now taking shape. The existing tennis/pickle ball courts will be prepared for play as soon as the snow melt and will be available only until early July. We are planning to build three tennis courts east of P5 just north of the Tee Box on hole 12 . We have received a community donation to add one more tennis court thus three courts instead of two. We had planned separate Pickle Ball courts but we are searching for additional lands and funding to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, with the Switchback Creek riparian set-backs, the available land is much smaller than what we had originally hoped for. Most of the land to the east will be assigned to the School District as the location for a future school with a sports field.
We have reached an agreement with the S.D. 73 for the location of up to 4 portable classrooms just east of the entry to Parking lot 5 off of Valley Drive. At this time, the school district anticipates moving the two classrooms that are presently in the Sun Peaks Centre meeting rooms to this site for the Fall school year. The new school portables will be located on lands that Council had previously set aside for a community funded skateboard park, so a new skateboard park site is proposed further to the south near the 11th green on the Sun Peaks golf course on the western side of Switchback Creek.
The contractors working on the Sun Peaks stage planned for the hillside north of the rink expect to get started as soon as soil conditions dry out. The plan is to complete the stage area by the Fall. Tourism Sun Peaks has agreed to help support this project and with the grant received from the Province, we are looking at a new all-weather concert/events venue for Sun Peaks. With the stage construction, we will also see the installation of the curtain walls that will go on the south and west sides of the building. For special events or trade shows, the curtain walls will enclose the roofed area. During the winter months, it is likely that the curtain walls will remain down on the south end to protect the ice from sun heating and to reduce the lighting impact on the neighbours to the south. The west side will still remain open for most of the winter rink operations,.
The Sun Peaks Health Centre will also see some expansion to the East side towards The Annex. An interior Ambulance Bay will be built on the ground floor and some conference space added to the second floor. The Sun Peaks Health Assn. has received a $817,000 grant to add this ambulance bay expansion that will make it easier to transfer injured people from the Health Centre to Kamloops. This work is presently out for tender and construction will begin this spring. Many thanks to the Health Assn. volunteers for their work on this project.
The best news, we have been successful with our application for daycare support. We will receive a $1.8 million grant to build daycare space for up to 40 full-time and 10 part-time daycare spaces. We are quickly finalizing design and will immediately negotiate a contract with a modular company to build these facilities with a goal to be completed late in 2022. We will also be filing an application for an operating license and other support programs. These daycare spaces are needed, and we believe that there will be immediate demand for most of the spaces available. Stay tuned!!
Obviously, it will be a busy construction season as there are also new property development projects in the plans. Unfortunately each project comes with some disturbances to the immediate neighbourhoods. We will do our best to monitor mud and dust as well as noise and parking issues. Hopefully we can all tolerate some inconveniences knowing that we will be a better community afterwards.
Fall Elections – October 15, 2022. I have already met several capable people interested in running for your council. If you are interested, I am happy to meet with you over the coming months.
Please don’t forget two very important studies are underway now. An Official Community Plan review will start in mid May and there will be opportunities for everyone to share their vision of Sun Peaks’ future. True Consulting along with Selkirk Planning and Design will be seeking your thoughts about our future. Please engage in this process, this is everyone’s opportunity to voice their opinion.
Lastly, the Strategy Plan for affordable employee housing is moving forward. The consultants have been in the community and received considerable input from many stakeholders. Draft findings should be available within 4 to 6 weeks and then we will present this work to the community. Following that session, the consultants will then present their recommended strategies. We are also anticipating an employee only housing proposal in the next month.
Al Raine, Mayor