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City of Merritt reinstituting Police, Policy Review, and Finance and Audit committees.

In approving the move at Tuesday's regular meeting, Mayor Linda Brown stressed the need to keep committees in place, rather than having them fold two months prior to a municipal election.

"Our current procedural policy states that during the year of an election committees stop, so now we are re-establishing them. I also have it in mind to look at changing this policy again down the road."

Following the 2014 Municipal Election it took 15-months for the city to re-establish its committees.

In July, a motion from Brown that would have seen committees stay intact through the 2018 Municipal Election was defeated.

 

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The Thompson-Nicola Regional District is being asked to consider a ban on plastic bags.

Charlotte Wyvill is part of a Kamloops advocacy group that started a petition in the fall to ban plastic bags in that city and it has since expanded to also include all single-use plastics.

She says they will present a three-point strategy to implement a ban.

"People are starting to realize that this isn't just a small, little environmental thing. It's a whole international major global crisis."

The group will make their case to ban plastic bags and single-use plastics to the TNRD at today's Board of Directors meeting, where it is expected it will be received for information.

 

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More students than ever are graduating in School District 58.

In 2017/18 the six-year completion rate for students eligible to graduate rose to 83%.

For the second straight year, Superintendent Stephen McNiven says it establishes a new record for the district.

"Last year the six-year completion rate for all students was 74%. At the time it was a new high for us, but we have seen a significant increase. And, our staff and students deserve a lot of the credit."

McNiven also notes a huge increase in the completion rates for Indigenous students, where the numbers are up from 69% to a whopping 82% in 2017/18.

That also sets a new standard.

"We're doing really well in the area of aboriginal education. When we go out to conference in other areas of the province we are very good about the work that is happening in our district."

The six-year completion rate calculates the number of students who graduated within six years from the time they enrolled in Grade 8.

 

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City of Merritt approving contribution agreements with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

New Five-year financial contribution agreements for the Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre and recreation facilities were approved by Mayor and Council at Tuesday's regular meeting.

Director of Corporate Services Sean Smith confirms the agreements that take effect next year contain annual increases of 2%.

"These are two payments to acknowledge the fact that we have many people that use our facilities from Electoral Area M and N. In order to keep the rates the same for those citizens that aren't directly paying by the way of taxes, the Thompson-Nicola Region District agrees to make a transfer payment."

The TNRD has signed off on both agreements as well and will also make a one-time payment of $50,000 in the form of Federal Gas Tax money.

Combined, the two financial contribution agreements are worth more than $1.13-million.

 

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Gavelin Ranch receiving the Century Farm Award from the Ministry of Agriculture.

The farm began operating in the spring of 1911.

Eric Gavelin and his brother-in-law purchased a somewhat risky plot of undisturbed land in the lower Nicola Valley. Eric had a dream, to establish a ranch where his family could grow and prosper.

He was told that creating a ranch out of that land would be a hopeless venture.

With hard work, perseverance and love for the land and his family, he worked to bring his dream to life.

In recognizing Gavelin Ranch, Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham says it has made a significant contribution to both Merritt's and BC's agricultural community.

"The Gavelin family's story is a great reminder of the deep roots agriculture has in our province and how it is both a challenging and rewarding way of life."

The Century Farm Award honours agricultural organizations that have been active for 100 years.

Each award celebrates the rich heritage of farming and ranching families and organizations in British Columbia.

 

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