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Thompson-Nicola Regional District officially exploring potential Kettle Valley Railway 'Rails to Trails' project.

Closed to trains in 1989, the Kettle Valley Railway system stretches from Midway all the way to Spences Bridge.

A motion from Area M director Randy Murray will see the regional-district investigate what it will take to get tenure over the former railway through the Merritt area.

"Part of it is to look at a Phase 2, to see how the trail system would work from Merritt to Spences Bridge. And, then potentially through Merritt in the future to connect with the Kettle Valley trail in the Okanagan, which has been a huge tourist draw."

The TNRD has already begun discussions with both the City of Merritt, and Lower Nicola Indian Band about the 'Rails to Trails' project.

 

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Ticket sales on pace with years past despite the Motion Notion music festival's last-minute move to Merritt.
 
Director Kevin Harper thinking the move will not have much, if any negative effect on their bottom line.
 
"We are on track with where we were last year around this time, which is very, very good news. We thought we would see a dip. So, the move to this region has helped in the short term. There is certainly longer for many people to travel, but they seem to be warming to the idea."
 
Development at the Motion Notion music festival's previous site in Golden forced to move to Merritt.
 
Harper is expecting roughly 2000 people to attend the electronic music festival at the Coldwater Fields Aug 23-27.
 
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Thompson-Nicola Regional District directors turning down pay hike.
 
Administration suggested more than a 11% increase in addition to the annual inflation rate to offset the eliminaton of federal tax exemtpions applying to one-third of the 26 directors annual pay.
 
City of Merritt Mayor Neil Menard was among the directors who voted yes.
 
"I would never agree that someone should be able to take wages away from people. If anything our constituents should be supporting us not losing any money."
 
The new federal expemption, which takes effect in January, will result in an additional $9000 in Canada Pension Plan contributions, which was not reqiured under the old rules.
 
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Nicola Valley Transportation Society starting to see an uptick in people using the On-Request Service.

The door-to-door bus service has been in place for all of 2018, and while manager Frank Trenholm says it has taken a bit to catch on, 90 people accessed it in June, compared to the 31 people when it first started to be offered back in January.

But, while the increase is positive he believes there is still plenty of room for the numbers to grow.

"The service is increasing little by little, with more people using different aspects of it. Fore example, where we are seeing it most popular is with groups of people. It wasn't something expected, but many people are using the service together to get to where they need to go."

For more information on the On-Request Service, or to book at trip, call the Nicola Valley Transportation Society at 250-378-4080.

 

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Plenty of interest in NVIT's Immediate Entry Secondary School Transition Bursary.
 
President Ken Tourand says the bursary, which covers first-year tuition for Grade 12 graduates from School District 58, has been well received since it was announced back in June.
 
He says at least 17 students have applied since the bursary to help improve immediate transition rates in the Nicola-Similkameen region was announced last month.
 
"It's been really well received. And, I've got a number of colleagues that are looking at it with interest to see what the response will be. We ran this a little bit late this year, announcing it during the high school graduation, but the plan is to run it for two more years. We're hoping that it really does change the transition rates in School District 58."
 
The Immediate Entry Secondary School Transition Bursary, which is believed to be the first of its kind, is available the next three-years.
 
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