Grand Forks Gazette’s year in review: Jan./Feb. 2012

January and February in the Grand Forks area saw a pilot project for food scraps composting and a visit from Premier Christy Clark.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark

B.C. Premier Christy Clark

Jan. 4, 2012

The City of Grand Forks sent in an application to the government funded recreation program for possible upgrades to Dick Bartlett Park.

Options city staff provided included a green gym, a water park and a walking/bike path.

The Community Recreation Program was aimed at increasing physical activity through providing greater access to recreation facilities, including trails, playgrounds and centres.


The Christina Lake Watershed held its annual general meeting to discuss the lake’s riparian area.

The Riparian Area Protection Plan looks to establish the development of guidelines for shoreline property and areas. Riparian zones are the areas that link water to land, such as streams, lakes and wetland.

Jan. 11, 2012

Grand Forks residents saw a rate increase of four per cent in the price of electricity on Jan. 1.

Policy 1205 was adopted last April by city council because within the policy, it states that since the city buys electricity from FortisBC at a wholesale rate, whenever rates from FortisBC is adjusted, the city will amend its Electrical Utility Regulatory bylaw.

The bylaw notes that rates have to be a minimum of 98 per cent of the rates charged by

FortisBC for residential homes and that commercial rates are adjusted to maintain competitive rates compared to FortisBC

Jan. 18, 2012

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has started up a pilot project in the Valmar area of Grand Forks that will see the collection of food scraps for composting.

The goal of the program is to manage the city’s waste by separating organic material to be composted to reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill.

RDKB solid waste program co-ordinator noted the green bins and beige kitchen buckets would be distributed to the residents at Valmar to use.

“We are asking that instead of throwing it in the garbage, we are asking people to separate out food-related waste such as leftovers, baked goods (breads and cookies), muffin and cupcake paper, moldy cheese, rinds and peelings, egg shells, fruit pits and seeds,” he said.


School District 51 (SD51) decided to join the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC) to further its communication with the public.

Trustee Vicki Gee believed that joining the board would benefit the school board.

“I’ve had conversations with a couple of people involved with promoting (BCRCC) in the area,” stated Gee. “I asked why would a community club be a part of something like this and found some of the projects that they’re undertaking are common websites to keep track of events in the community.”

The BCRCC aims to build a strong business network that will promote the Boundary Country, and encourages business and community development.

Jan. 25, 2012

For the second year, Clearwater, B.C. resident Steve Mullen and his 12-dog Alaskan Husky Adventures team took top honours at the Rail Trail 200 International Sled Dog Race.

Jillian Taylor from Rocky Mountain House, Alta. was the first, and only team in the event’s two-year history, to complete the 100-mile (161 kilometre) race with her eight-dog sled team.

There were five participants for the 200-mile (323-kilometre) race: Christina Traverse and Randy MacKenzie from Fort McMurray, Alta., Gerry Walker from Pierceland, Sask., and Rick Wannamaker and Steve Mullen from Clearwater, B.C.

In the 100-mile (161-kilometre) race, participants Jillian Taylor and Steve Taylor arrived from Rocky Mountain House, Alta.

Rail Trail 200 is a pre-qualifying race for both the Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race between Whitehorse, Yukon and Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska.


U.S. Border Patrol seized approximately eight kilograms of ecstasy and US $14,000 (approximately C$14,176) near the Danville Port of Entry on Jan. 16.

The seizure occurred when U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered the narcotics and currency in a backpack in an abandoned area west of Danville Port of Entry, near Grand Forks.

The ecstasy was packaged in powder form and is valued at over C$136,000 – the currency along with the drugs was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Feb. 1, 2012

The Boundary Museum Society (BMS) requested a service agreement with the city for around $80,000 in funding.

This year, revenue for the society is expected to total $43,545 and total operating expenses are expected to be $122,170, leaving a deficit of $78,625.

BMS requested that council consider the anticipated budget shortfall for 2012 and enter into an agreement with the society. This would ensure that the area’s artifacts and archival material continue to be maintained and displayed at the museum and in the basement of the Grand Forks City hall.

Feb. 8, 2012

B.C. Premier Christy Clark dropped by Midway’s mill for a guided tour and a discussion on job creation, especially for smaller cities.

Clark noted trade agreements with Asia have helped benefit the forestry business, and with it, the small towns with lumber mills like Midway.

“It drives up demand, it drives up prices, and then we have a business case to produce more lumber than you otherwise would,” she said. “It all starts with a job, and if that job is in Midway, or if that job is in Surrey, it makes a difference for the entire province.”

The Midway Mill, owned and operated by Vaagen Brothers Lumber Inc., aimed to increase its production and add a second shift by the fall of 2012.

Feb. 15, 2012

The Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society (GFBRAS) moved forward with development of a mobile meat processing unit and hopes to have it operating later this year.

The mobile meat processing unit, also known as an abattoir, will eliminate costs on transportation and stress on animals for local farmers, as well as expand their markets.

Area residents would also have access to locally-raised and government inspected meat products, including beef, pork, goat and poultry.


The City of Grand Forks has taken steps to reduce its carbon emissions but is still short by 30 per cent set by the province.

Every community, which factors city operations and not the entire residential portion of the city, in British Columbia had to have a benchmark-starting place when the initiative began in 2007. Grand Fork’s benchmark was 420 tons (925,942 pounds).

Feb. 22, 2012

School District 51 (SD51) and Grand Forks schools are working to create an after school program that targets at-risk students from Grades 4 to 8.

Perley and Hutton elementary schools were awarded a grant that will continue for a period of three years and will be used to develop the community