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Community Futures Nicola Valley issuing more than $150,000 in loans in 2017-18.
 
Economic Development Coordinator Mae Ketter says the loans directly help create 11 jobs, seven of which were full-time.
 
The numbers are down from last year, but Ketter says it's circumstantial, and believes the new structure that saw three coordinators replace the traditional general manager role to start the year is proving effective
 
"It has given us more opportunity to get out into the community. And, it has also freed up some extra money to work, and advertise, and put on some seminars for the public." 
 
Last year, Community Futures Nicola Valley issued $510,037 in loans to area small businesses, which directly lead to 35 jobs, 28 of which were full-time.
 
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City of Merritt committees to continue to fold before municipal elections.

A motion from Councillor Linda Brown to have committees stay in place was defeated at Tuesday's regular meeting of Council.

Despite no official rule in the Community Charter, committees will be disbanded again in September.

"Other municipalities and regional districts do not stop committees just because its an election year. The committees just keep working, and councillors are replaced by the incoming council and everything works just fine."

Following the last election in 2014, it took over a year for city committees to get off the ground.

 

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Upper Nicola Band confirming presence of invasive fish in Douglas Lake.

Councillor Brian Holmes says sampling this spring by the province shows that Yellow Perch have reached as far as Douglas Lake, but still yet to make it to Nicola Lake.

"I've seen sampling in Douglas Lake that confirms their presence. The good news, at least for now, is last week we did some sampling on the north and south end of Nicola Lake, and we didn't catch any yellow perch in the nets. That is positive, but the threat still remains."

The invasive fish were first discovered in Windy Lake and Little Windy Lake west of Kelowna in 2016, but a fish kill failed to stop their spread further down the Nicola River system.

Holmes says both Douglas and Nicola lake serve as a primary source of fish for the Upper Nicola Band, and sampling will continue over the summer.

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City of Merritt receptive to Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society's plan to construct a performing arts centre at the Civic Centre.

No official motion was made at last night's regular meeting, but the idea of splitting the proposed downtown theatre complex into two projects was well received.

In expressing his support for the plan, Councillor Mike Goetz cautioned it would need support from the community to go ahead.

"Whatever happens, it basically revolves around the fact that the city needs to have open houses, we need feedback, and then we can go from there. I think its the first step in a very long journey, but I think it will be fairly positive."

Councillor Linda Brown went a step further, wanting to see seating at the performing arts centre increased from the 275-currently included in the plan.

"It thinks the number at 275 is way too small. I have had two theatres reporting to me. One of them, the R.E.M theatre in Terrace had a thousand seats, and it was never big enough for the big events."

Under the new plan, a three-bay theatre complex would be built downtown and operated by the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society, while the performing arts centre added on to the Civic Centre would become a city initiative, increasing the ability to apply for government funding.

 

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Provinces working together to "fill the gaps" in response to Greyhound Canada's decision to halt operations of Western Canada.
 
Greyhound Canada is eliminating both passenger and freight services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and all but one route in BC as of November 1st.
 
BC's Transportation minister Claire Trevena says the move will have a large impact, especially in rural areas, and that her government's now looking at all options.
 
"We have a lot of vulnerable people in our province, many who choose not to use their personal vehicles, who will need to have some bus service. And, that's one of the things we will be trying to deal with before Oct 31st."
 
Trevena says she has a meeting today with her counterparts in the other provinces to discuss how they can work together and find solutions.
 
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