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On Tuesday night, Merritt City Council held a public hearing with regards to the proposed rezoning of the property at 3011 Thorpe avenue. The property in question was brought into the City from the TNRD back in 2010 but was never given a City of Merritt zoning classification.

The owners were looking to have the plot of land zoned inline with the surrounding properties as R2. That part of the hearing was heard and later moved forward by Council in a unanimous vote.

However, during the hearing Duncan Ross stood at the podium and pitched an interesting idea to council and the assembled public.

“It’s a unique system there, it’s a thriving eco-system which stands to be backfilled. So, I wanted to alert Council to perhaps a unique opportunity and not to miss what could be a cool and elevating venue for this town if we put our minds to it,” said Ross. “To consider a unique opportunity for a fantastic park, that is in fact already there. The topographical variations, the mature trees, this fantastic pond, the living animal life that’s drawn to that.”

Ross did mention that he had been in conversation with the property owner about his idea.

“Just to comment, previous Councils have noted the lack of public parks in that area of town, and I’d like us to consider possibilities that might help address that,” said Councillor Kurt Christopherson.

“We have an opportunity to backfill a thriving eco-system and plug seven more houses in there, and I just wonder will we be ahead. I don’t see that as a move ahead, there are other places to build another single-family dwelling,” said Ross.

 

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With the warm dry temperatures Merritt has been experiencing over the last number of weeks, the City has once again implemented it’s Outdoor Watering Conservation Policy.

Starting May 1, residents living in odd number homes have been required to water lawns or gardens on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, while those living in even numbered dwellings can water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

However, according to Director of Corporate Services Sean Smith this may not be the only watering restriction we face this summer.

"As we (the City) gets closer to drought conditions, we hear from the province who requests initially that the city implemement additional restrictions," Smith said. " If it get worse it changes from a request into something a bit more formal which is mandated."

He adds that with drought conditions being a concern this year, the City hopes residents take these restrictions seriously over the next few months.

'Traditionally the residents of Merritt have oblidged with the restrictions and we don't see that changing this summer," he stated. "In the end it will benefit everyone."

The restrictions will be in effect until September 30 with the fine for watering offences within the city remains at $50.

 

 

 

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Bansi Sidhu

The Merritt and District Tennis Club (MDTC) held the first of its city tournaments on the weekend with three men’s doubles teams duking it out on Saturday.

The pairing of Bob Bansi and Harbans Sandhu emerged victorious with pro set wins over Peter Dosanjh and Mo Ghog (8-4), and Amrit Ahuja and Isaiah Lansdowne (8-3).

Next up on the MDTC calendar is a fun mixed doubles tournament on Saturday, June 22.

For more information, contact Sidhu at 378-5687 or Diane Quinn at 378-4501

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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A rash of theft and attempted theft has hit the Merritt area.

The Merritt RCMP confirmed several reports of theft spanning this past weekend and into the work week.

RCMP Constable Tracy Dunsmore spoke about the recent robberies.

“This morning (Tuesday 14th) we’ve had about four calls of theft from motor vehicles that went on overnight. As well it looks like somebody tried to steal a truck from (a local business). Broke in and tried to punch the ignition out,” said Dunsmore. “They’re random, some in the downtown area, some that are rural, some up on the bench, they’re kind of all over.”

If four calls on Tuesday morning weren’t enough, Constable Dunsmore also spoke to some that happened over the previous weekend.

“We had a few other thefts around the community over the weekend as well,” said Dunsmore. “Some construction material was stolen from the construction up at the old Husky Station on the Airport road.”

Dunsmore mentioned that the culprits at the Husky Station did get away with metal sheeting.

“There was a break in at the bottle depot over the weekend. They did take some things, but they found the items in the back alley close by,” said Dunsmore.

“We had a report yesterday morning (Monday) from Airport road, that at sometime over the weekend, someone broke in to some vehicles at (a local business),” said Dunsmore. “They don’t believe anything was taken, it doesn’t look like anything was taken.”

“One of the towing compounds also had some license plates stolen,” concluded Dunsmore.

She spoke to criminals stealing licence plates to help them hide in plain sight with possibly stolen vehicles.

It’s also serves as another reminder to the general public to make sure your cars are locked and any and all valuables are taken inside at night.

 

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Dan Albas HOC

On Monday, Dan Albas, MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, introduced private members’ legislation which will help bring some peace of mind to evacuees.

“As we have seen in New Brunswick, Quebec, and the Ottawa region over the last number of weeks, Canadians stand with our neighbours in times of crisis. This sense of community is part of what makes our country the best place in the world to live,” said MP Albas. “However, some people use disasters as an opportunity to abuse that trust and prey on the vulnerable through theft and looting.”
 
If passed, Bill C-447, Act to Amend the Criminal Code (aggravating circumstance – evacuation order or emergency), would allow judges to take into account natural disasters, emergencies and evacuation orders when sentencing criminals by adding them to the list of aggravating factors.

“When someone has had their day in court, and has been found criminally responsible, then when it comes to sentencing this aggravating factor would come up,” said Albas. “A justice would then say, given that society through Parliament has clarified that looting, particularly when people are away on evacuation orders and particularly vulnerable is absolutely heinous. We are going to give a stronger sentence.”

The bill, as much as it’s about law and order is also focused on providing people with a small amount of peace of mind when the evacuation call comes down.

“During a flood or forest fire, Canadians need to be focused on their family’s health and safety, not worried about their home being looted or vandalized while they are away,” said MP Albas.  “Far too many people don’t listen to evacuation orders because they are concerned about their property.  Hopefully, all parties can support this common-sense change so that we can give that crucial peace of mind to Canadians in their time of need.”

Albas mentioned that throughout conversations with constituents, the topic of evacuation protection was top of mind.

“It was the main topic on my summer listening tour last year. All three valleys, the Okanagan Valley, the Nicola Valley and the Similkameen Valley, everyone of them said if there’s a way to make evacuations easier then please help us with this. This is one way to make that happen,” said MP Albas.
 
“I hope people support the premise of the bill, and I’m also open to feedback from people, particularly in a community like Merritt where we’ve had so many evacuations due to flooding in the Nicola Valley. I’d love to hear their feedback,” said Albas.

Our Member of Parliament can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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