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Local paramedics are encouraging area residents to help save lives.
 
November is CPR Awareness month, and BCHS unit chief and community paramedic Mae Webster is asking both those who are trained in CPR, and those who are not, to download the free Pulse Point app.
 
The Pulse Point app connects free app smartphone users to the BCEHS emergency dispatch system so that when a sudden cardiac arrest is reported at a public location through 9-1-1, dispatchers can send the location to people with mobile devices located within a short walking distance.
 
"It also tells you how to do CPR and instructs you how to use the AED as well," Webster explained. "That way you are not stranded."
 
Since launching Pulse Point earlier this year, Webster says the app has already been utilized locally in an emergency.
 
The Pulse Point app can be downloaded from both the Apple Store for iOS and from Google Play Store for Android OS.
 
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The City of Merritt is planning to discuss a recently completed flood assessment for the Nicola River with residents.
 
A Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) meeting will take place in the coming months to go over the document commissioned by the city in June that examined the impacts of flooding at 13 sites along the Nicola River.
 
The motion to do so was made by Mayor Linda Brown.
 
"It was meant to look at doing a Committee of the Whole meeting, with participation from the public, in order to prioritize the needs of the flood community," said Brown.
 
 
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The Ministry of Environment is planning to resume air quality monitoring in Merritt.
 
The air quality has not been monitored in the city since 2014, but specialist Ralph Adams says there is a plan in place to setup a temporary testing station now that the Merritt Green Energy project is up and running.
 
"The current plan is to put a short term Pm 2.5 monitor back into the location at Parcel St," said Adams. "The optimum time for doing that would be over the winter period when dispersion is poor. Because it will be at Parcel St, we can compare it to the numbers we had before."
 
The Merritt Green Energy Project began operating commercially back in April.
 
Adams says the initial testing at the $250-million facility has begun, and after two cycles,the results will be examined to see if the levels are acceptable.
 
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The Mayor of the City of Merritt says new affordable seniors housing planned in the city will address a big need.
 
Linda Brown said Merritt has a huge population of seniors who are on fixed incomes.
 
"We need to increase our housing inventory; we know that," Brown explained. " So any number of affordable housing units would be welcome."
 
The province is providing $4 million to the ASK Wellness Society to build 40 senior rental units in downtown Merritt.
 
Its hoped construction of the building can begin next fall at a yet to be determined location.
 
More to come
 
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The City of Merritt is opting not to gouge cannabis dispensary operators applying for a business license.

Mayor and Council have given the first three readings to the bylaw that would see a prospective cannabis dispensary pay $650 for the initial license, and $150 each year after.

While cities like Kamloops and Vancouver have set the price at $5,000 and $30,000 respectively, Director of Corporate Services Sean Smith says the idea is to cover the costs associated with licensing a business and not to make a profit.

"Our take is that business licencing is designed for the individual business to be revenue neutral,"Smith said. "We don’t want to charge more for the license than it costs the city to process."

Smith added that any cannabis dispensary that opens in Merritt will also pay a $1,500 annual fee to the province.

 

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