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The Thompson Nicola Regional District is setting up a resiliency centre in Merritt.

Mike Garrett from the TNRD EOC, says it will be located at the Merritt Civic Centre, and will be open tomorrow for those impacted by the recent flooding in the area from 10am to 2pm.

"We're running the resiliency centre in conjunction with the Lower Nicola Indian Band. There will be disaster financial assistance people from the province, and the Red Cross will also be there with cleanup kits.”

The resiliency centre will also be open next week, Tuesday, Thursday and next Saturday next week at the same time

Those with questions, or that are impacted by flooding can call the TNRD Emergency Operations Centre at 1-866-3777-7188.

 

Minor flooding in areas along the Nicola River, but nothing that wasn't expected.

"We have not declared any alerts or declaration of emergency. There's no declaration of emergency. It's just seepage and the property owners next to the Nicola River are experienced with these types of events."

Merritt Fire Rescue Department Chief David Tomkinson was out assessing the situation this morning, and says at this point there is some low-level flooding on Garcia St and Taylor.

"All the areas are within the flood plan, and we anticipated there would be some low-level flooding. Most residents have protected their properties, which is good."

The flood watch issued by the BC River Forecast Centre does remain in effect for the Central Interior and Thompson Region.

I.E.S Inc. proposing to build 1st Canadian ethanol production plant in Merritt.

President Mike Heron telling Mayor and Council last night that the proposed $120-million plant would convert 300,000 tons of wood waste to fuel each year, through a gasification and catalytic reaction process.

"Our goal is to have a plant that can initially produce 21-million gallons a year. Our distribution strategy would be to the major energy companies with refineries in western Canada. We had preliminary discussions with Suncor Energy last week, and they even let us know they might be interested in using our product in all their North American facilities."

Heron says they are currently in negotiations to purchase land from Tolko Industries in Merritt's industrial area along Midday Valley Rd.

The hope is to start construction next spring.

Once operational, Heron says the ethanol production plant would employ 200 people.

Businesses prepared, more willing to talk during the 3rd annual Merritt Business Walk.

"Not sure if it was the presentation, the advanced marketing, or simply all the coverage on the radio, but businesses seemed more open, and inviting this year. So, it was great."

Manager of economic development and tourism Will George says in all 20 volunteers spent five hours yesterday visiting businesses throughout the city.

"I don't have any numbers at this point on how many businesses we got to, or how many surveys were handed in. The plan is to compile all the information in the coming weeks, and produce a report like the previous years."

Businesses can fill still out the survey for the walk, which is up on the city website.

George says the deadline to do so is May 19th, with the report on the walk expected to be made public by the end of May.

 

Same president, new executive this year for the Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce.

"We have a brand-new board, with lots of really dynamic people. It should be a strong group, and we are really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together."

Anointed president for a third straight year last night, Julie VanKoll is happy to announce that the chamber has also elected two vice presidents this year in Jasmine Kooner and Mike Heron.

And rounding out the executive roles, Louise Grenier will serve as secretary, and Manuel Olguin as treasurer.

Like 2016, VanKoll says the chamber is looking to build up its presence on social media, to better show off what the businesses of Merritt can offer.

"Social media is constantly changing, and we have been trying to stay on top of it. So far, the effort seems to we working, so we are going to stay on top of it."

The Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce currently has more than 200 members.

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