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City of Merritt officially putting off right turn lanes for Voght St until the spring.

At Tuesday's regular meeting, Mayor and Council voted against spending $296,770, which was well above the original budget, to have two right turn lanes constructed on Voght St where it intersects with Nicola Ave before winter.

CAO Shawn Boven says the turning lanes were originally scheduled to be put in when Nicola Ave was repaved and new medians were constructed in 2016.

"We initially tendered it bundles up with the Nicola Ave median project, but it came in well over budget. Then we ended up retendering it as a stand-alone project, and it came in even higher."

Boven says the city will now look to re-tender the project in the spring.

 

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Environment Canada expecting more snow on area mountain passes today.
 
"It was a bit of a surprise after how dry and warm it has been. We've experienced a dramatic change with the recent front."
 
Forecaster Alan Coldwells says as much as 5cm of snow fell on both the Coquihalla and Okanagan Connector yesterday, and more is expected today.
 
"There's another system dropping down on the coast tonight that should bring around 5cm of snow to the Coquihalla tonight, and maybe 2cm t o 4cm for the Okanagan Connector."
 
Coldwells adds temperatures are expected to increase by the weekend, and which should melt any snow on the ground.
 
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Tickets for Bass Coast going on sale today.
 
Tier one tickets for the tenth anniversary of the electronic music and arts festival are available as of 10am.
 
Co-founder Liz Thomson expects all of them will be scooped up within hours.
 
"People are all really eager to take advantage of the reduced priced tickets, and I expect to see thousands of people online again waiting for tickets to officially hit the market."
 
Thomson says the plan is to keep the crowd at 4,500, but admits a couple hundred extra tickets could still be released.
 
"The feedback we get is that people want to keep the space on the dance floor, and the intimate experience. It's our advantage over other festivals, and we don't want to lose that." 
 
Tickets are available at www.basscoast.ca, but Thomson says locals can again pick up a reduced-priced ticket at the 378 Board Shop while supplies last.
 
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Merritt Fire Rescue Department and Merritt Secondary School students teaming up to teach area children that "Every Second Counts."
 
Cpt Sky McKeown says the drama club at MSS are once again helping the department pass on the Fire Prevention Week messages to grade three students in the area.
 
"We are injecting some messages. Stay low and go, don't go back into a burning building, if your smoke alarm goes off get up, and get out. All simple messages we are hoping will stick. It's about planting seeds, and giving them the knowledge they need moving forward in order to stay safe."
 
This year's theme for Fire Prevention Week is "Every second counts: Plan two ways out."
 
McKeown says the hope is that children will take what they learned home and create a plan, in case of fire with their families. 
 
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Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce looking to partner with the City of Merritt on proposed business park.
 
President Mike Heron says with the help of the city they hope to access federal FCCI funding to develop a business park on private lands near the Merritt airport.
 
"We've been in contact with a number of landlords through a local real estate agent, and there seems to be interest. And, based on feedback I am getting from a number of companies, we believe we have a strong case to do something to boost the Merritt economy."
 
Heron says the five-year plan starts with developing warehouses, in order take advantage of Merritt's ideal location as a distribution centre.
 
It also includes revitalizing the truck stop, constructing a greenhouse to produce fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, and creating a technology centre.
 
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