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CITYOFMERRITT

The City of Merritt has released a statement on the removal of the parking stalls in front of the post office.

The City of Merritt recently removed four short term parking spaces in front of the Canada Post Office on Voght Street. We recognize and acknowledge that this decision has caused frustration for many of our residents, and we want you to know that we have heard and intend to incorporate your comments to find a better solution for our community than what we originally came up with. Before discussing our proposed solution, we feel the need to better communicate the reasoning behind our original decision. 

On March 2, 2018, there was a tragic accident at the intersection of Granite Avenue and Voght Street, where a 92-year-old pedestrian was struck by a pickup truck and fatally wounded. Since that time, we have been in close contact with the RCMP and other organizations regarding what can be done to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety at this and other intersections in our City. In the midst of these discussions, we were also made aware of numerous other accidents and near misses around this intersection.

The release continues;

While we have an obligation to take effective measures to improve safety, we also recognize the importance of listening to our residents’ concerns. To that end, we have re-evaluated these parking spots and have determined that we can add one handicapped parking space directly in front of Canada Post, while still meeting the aforementioned safety and traffic flow goals. We are always available for questions and feedback and would encourage residents to reach out to us directly in the future as we would be happy to discuss any City of Merritt projects and initiatives.

For the full release visit the City of Merritt's website.

Merrittonians liking to discuss their concerns regarding the change are asked to contact City Hall.

Jim Dinwoodie 

Director of Engineering and Development 

250-378-8626  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scott Hildebrand 

Chief Administrative Officer 

250-378-4224  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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nvit logo

It’s set to be a packed day of activities, presentations, and speeches tomorrow at NVIT’s Merritt campus for an Indigenous Women’s Gathering.

The event coined ‘Uniting Our Stories’ will begin at 8:30 in the morning and run through dinner.

Emma McMillan, NVIT Communications, joined Q101 to discuss some of the many highlights on the agenda.

“At the lunch hour, we have Jenn Harper from Cheekbone Beauty. She was just on Dragons Den; she is renowned for being one of the first indigenous women to produce a cosmetics line that is benefiting indigenous people. Part of her sales all go back to the community,” said McMillan.

“One of our lecturers, Sharon McIver, is coming in to do the keynote at dinner time,” said McMillan. “As well as, Laura Grizzlypaws, she is a traditional dancer and she will be telling a bit of a story of sorts.”

The exact details of the performance by Grizzlypaws is being kept a secret.

The event will also have speeches on topics like the economic impact of indigenous women in business, women in fashion and arts, and women in small business.

Along with the presentations the event will also serve as a time for networking.

For last-minute Merritt, McMillan did mention that there will be an extremely select number of tickets available at the door.

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Post Office

(Parking prior to changes made in September)

A few weeks back City Hall announced some traffic pattern changes along Voght Street. The one grabbing most of the attention is the removal of parking spaces in front of the Post Office in favour of a longer run-up to the intersection, in the hopes of improving traffic flow.

“I would love to just sit down and talk to some of them who have concerns,” began CAO Scott Hildebrand. “My biggest concern when we made those decisions was, we lost a life on that corner not long ago, and one is just the efficiency of traffic, we have such traffic congestion there.”

Hildebrand mentioned hearing about the petition circulation around town regarding the parking spots but said nobody has directly approached City Hall to discuss their concerns. He’s hoping the group will arrange a time to speak with him and other staff members to relay their concerns directly.

Hildebrand also discussed the process of getting advanced left-turn arrows at the intersection of Voght and Nicola.

“What we’re waiting for is the Province to complete their study. They’re not sure if there is enough space to safely do it. If there is, hopefully, we can get the double arrow and we’ll line it and paint it appropriately,” said Hildebrand.

The City may opt to paint the dividing line before provincial approval to improve the current situation of cars stopping directly in the middle of what could be two lanes of traffic.

 

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LNIB

On Saturday, members of the Lower Nicola Indian Band will be tasked with electing a new Chief and Council to represent them.

After six years serving the community as Chief, Aaron Sumexheltza is stepping aside, and a new person will take up that mantle.

“I’ve been Chief of my community for six years; I love the job and think we’ve done some great things. So, it’s definitely tough,” said Sumexheltza. “It does take a toll on one’s personal life and it’s important for me to just focus on family as well.”

“I have faith in the community members and those that will be voting in the upcoming election. I know that they will elect a new Chief that will do a great job for us, as well as a really strong Council.”

A trio of candidates has put their hats in the ring for the office of chief, Leona Antoine, Stuart Jackson, and Robert Sterling Jr.

While not seeking re-election as Chief, Aaron will be running for a seat on Council along with 13 other candidates.

Q101 will bring you the results when they are released this weekend.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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horgan

Mayor Linda Brown, Councillors and CAO Scott Hildebrand had an opportunity last week to meet with Premier John Horgan at UBCM and stress to him the needs of Merritt.

The meeting with the Premier was one of approximately 20 at the convention with various Ministers, Ministry Staffs, the Attorney General and a Parliamentary Secretary.

“It was obviously about current events, forestry was number one,” began Hildebrand. “We talked about timber supply, we talked about forestry in general. The Mayor led that conversation.”

On top of the headlines from forestry, the topic of diversification was also hit on with Horgan.

“With what’s happening in the forestry industry, we need to always be thinking about that,” said Hildebrand. “We talked about exit 286 with the First Nations, the cannabis industry and Sundial specifically.”

One of the key issues stressed to the Premier is the huge gaps in building costs in BC versus Alberta. Relating it back to Sundial, who has a plant in Alberta, one pod there cost them $28 million, here in BC the same pod costs them $40 million to build.

“We talked about an opportunity for a light industrial park,” added Hildebrand.

The City had been hoping to secure funding for the industrial park through the Rural Dividend Grant which has now been suspended to help fund the forestry relief dollars.

“Our request is kind of in the air right now, we don’t know what is going to happen with that,” said Brown.

Flood mitigation was also a prevalent topic during their conversation.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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