Council Briefs: Hey, the new restaurant is over here

Kamloops Daily News
December 19, 2012 01:00 AM

A new restaurant means new signs for the travel centre/gas station just off Copperhead and Versatile drives.

City council voted unanimously Tuesday to issue public notice about additional signs announcing an A and W restaurant going into the building.

City development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski said the signs are more numerous than typical, but the lot is also large and there aren't any surrounding properties that will be impacted.

You can drink, but not dance

While Thompson Rivers University has a liquor licence for its grand hall and cafeteria in the Campus Activity Centre, patrons can't drink and dance or sing karaoke.

TRU wants to let the merriment be a little more boisterous, so it asked the City to endorse dancing and karaoke to be allowed with its liquor licence.

Council voted Tuesday to authorize a distribution of notice to receive public input regarding the liquor licence change.

The university has no plans to change capacity numbers or hours, said City development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski.

RCMP have indicated they have no concerns and City staff support proceeding.

Council voted unanimously to move ahead, but Coun. Nancy Bepple excused herself as she is employed by TRU.

Cavers carriage suite gets council's nod

A new paint scheme, the removal of some rooftop solar panels and a reduced building height were enough changes to convince City council to issue a development permit for a carriage suite on 900-block Douglas Street.

It's the same address where council rejected the suite application a few weeks ago.

It's also the same address where Coun. Donovan Cavers's mother, Anne Grube lives. So does Cavers.

He excused himself from Tuesday's discussion on the suite, along with councillors Tina Lange, who owns rental houses in the area, and Marg Spina, who is building a carriage suite in the same area as Grube and Cavers.

City development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski said staff have reviewed the altered proposal and determined it fits the City's requirements for carriage suites and garden suites.

"We support the application," he said.

It was passed unanimously.

Freedom of Information requests on the rise

A decade ago, the City had one FOI request. This year, it has received 42 so far.

With the number of requests on the rise, City council approved a bylaw to map out how much that information will cost those seeking it.

City deputy corporate officer Stephanie Nichols said FOI request topics have become more varied and some have needed additional records and times to produce.

The City doesn't' charge for the first three hours of staff time, but it does charge $30 an hour after that. In 2011, the City took in $1,300 for processing 40 FOI requests.

Coun. Arjun Singh said Freedom of Information is part of a democratic system.

"It's important for information to be available," he said.

Council approved the bylaw, which also named Nichols as the Freedom of Information co-ordinator.

That rabbit's foot isn't good luck for you - or the rabbit

Last year, Vernon was the first community in B.C. where the B.C. Lottery Corp. marked Gambling Awareness Week.

Now it's expanding to five more communities, including Kamloops.

Laura Piva-Babcock with BCLC told City council Tuesday the event, slated for Jan. 7 to 12, will include a launch at Chances Entertainment on Jan. 8, a travelling kiosk that will appear at malls and Blazers games, and end with an open house at Desert Gardens.

Piva-Babcock told council the kiosk will explain how gambling works and what the odds of winning are.

Council unanimously proclaimed Jan. 7 to 12 as Gambling Awareness Week.

The tourists keep coming

Tourism Kamloops executive director Lee Morris's presentation to City council was out of date even as she put it up on the screen Tuesday.

Her numbers showed a five per cent increase in hotel tax revenues this year. But the numbers were in flux. And the latest figures came after she'd put the presentation together.

Hotel tax revenues were actually up seven per cent. Occupancy was two per cent higher than the provincial average.

Morris said Kamloops was bustling with tourists this fall, with promotions bringing in people for a variety of activities, including a corn maze at Halloween.

Travel journalists came to Kamloops from China, New Zealand, France, the U.S., Australia, Germany, Brazil and the U.K., as well as across Canada.

Morris said she believes Clover the Kermode bear at the B.C. Wildlife Park will be another attraction in the coming year.

Coun. Arjun Singh asked her if the controversy of having the Kermode caged up here worried her.

Morris said her agency has been careful in how it has promoted the bear at the park.

"We call it Clover's forever home because the alternative is likely death in the wild."

Well, well, water's on the way

Campbell Creek's long-awaited hookup to the City's water system can now move forward.

With the alternative approval process period for protests to the borrowing for the project now expired, it will proceed. Campbell Creek has been drawing on well water for years, but it's hard water that's been detrimental to appliances.

City council unanimously approved adoption of the bylaw to get the project going.

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