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NVIT Amphitheatre

NVIT is in the process of constructing a new outdoor amphitheatre at its Merritt Campus.

President of NVIT Ken Tourand joined Q101 to discuss the build.

“It’s about a 180-seat amphitheatre that was approved by the NVIT Board of Governors last year,” said Tourand. “It’s somewhere in the neighbourhood of $600,000, it’s being self-funded by NVIT. We anticipate it will be completed by April 30, and ready for the Spring.”

Once completed the amphitheatre will be a multi-use space for students and faculty to enjoy.

“Anything that has to do with outdoor, we could actually hold classes in there. We can also hold performances and that type of thing in there,” said Tourand. “It’s also just a place for students to hang out in between classes. I think it’s going to be a great addition to the campus.”

Tourand also mentioned how they’re adding in a pit-cook built into the ground and a fire pit.

 

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Merritt Flourish Under the Sun

During this week’s budget meeting, Coun. Travis Fehr raised a question after noticing a major decrease is operational expenditures in Economic Development.

“Just looking at expenditures, it goes down 58 per cent. Just wondering what that is?” Questioned Fehr.

Director of Finance Shelia Thiessen informed the Councillor that the decrease was related not having access to the Rural Dividend Grant.

In 2019, the City budgeted $216,400, this year that number has fallen to $91,400 due to the lack of the Grant.

“The Province did open some additional funding up to replace the rural dividend,” said Will George. “It’s $50,000 that we can tap into.”

The $50,000 in possible grant funding is from the provincial government in response to the ongoing forestry crisis. However, it only makes up half of the usual funds the City received through the Rural Dividend Grant in years past.
George believes the lack of funding shouldn’t affect current operations.

 

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CITYOFMERRITT

City Hall is looking to remind dog owners to purchase their 2020 dog licences.

All dogs over the age of 6-months are required to have a valid licence.

Will George, Director of Communications, told Q101 the reminder is just that and not due to non-compliance with the program.

“We just want to remind people that dog licences are required within the City of Merritt. We just want to do a friendly reminder,” said George.

The program is an important step in helping the City return lost dogs to their proper owners.

Licences range from $24-50.

For more information contact bylaw services at 250-378-8628

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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aspen planers

A change to Aspen Planers' forest stewardship plan in the Merritt timber supply area is currently available for public review.

The amendment outlines the results and strategies that Aspen Planers must achieve to be consistent with government objectives for Fishery Sensitive Watersheds. Locally the areas in question include Spius Creek, and the Coldwater River, along with the watersheds and basins found in the region.

Those wishing to read the amendment can find full details here; http://aspenplaners.ca/resources/

The public review period will run from January 23 until March 22, 2020.

 

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CITY HALL RCMP

During this week’s budget meeting at City Hall, the topic of protective services was raised.

Protective services include the RCMP, Merritt Fire Rescue and things like bylaw officers.

CAO Scott Hildebrand spoke to the services taking up the biggest piece of the municipal tax pie.

“Of that average house ($266,000) in 2019, you paid $1,408 in municipal taxes, of that $637 goes to protective services. So, approximately 45% of the municipal taxes that we pay, on average, goes towards protective services, and that percentage will change as we potentially add two new RCMP officers in 2020. So nearly half going into 2020 will be towards protective services,” said Hildebrand.

Hildebrand did mention that City still doesn’t know when they’ll be receiving the recruits.

“Our goal for 2020 is to ensure that we’re fully staffed, we try to do that every year. Staff Sgt. Wood has been providing myself and the Mayor with regular updates on how they’re striving to become 100% staffed. Obviously, that’s a desperate need in our community and that’s what we have to strive for,” added Hildebrand.

City Hall budgeted for 15 officers in 2019, however, due to various factors, Director of Finance Sheila Thiessen mentioned they averaged closer to 11.5.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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