The Village of Telkwa will not be reimbursing or compensating Telkwa Pub for a water service repair done over the Family Day weekend in February.
At its regular meeting February 23, council received a request from pub owner Lonny Carrol for reimbursement on the basis that the previous owner had told her village staff had installed the part that broke free of charge.
Council instructed staff to investigate an report back at the March 9 meeting. On March 9, Lev Hartfeil, operations manager, reported he found no record of the Village ever conducting work on the Telkwa Pub property. He wrote the longest-serving member of staff recalled a village employee working on the water service in front of the pub prior to 2010, but even if so, that work would have been outside the Village’s scope.
He suggested the employee may have been well-intentioned, but ill-informed about the Village’s scope or working as a private citizen on his own time.
“While staff appreciates Ms. Carrol’s frustrations, especially considering how difficult the past year has been for the service industry and small businesses, the Village is responsible for maintaining Village infrastructure and not for maintaining or repairing private property,” Hartfeil wrote.
He recommended that Carrol should be informed she would not be compensated, but that council would continue to assist the pub by providing information about grants and assistance programs available to businesses.
Coun. Morgan, while accepting the recommendation, was concerned that grant applications can be extremely onerous for people to navigate and suggested staff could do more to help small businesses, such as helping owners research what assistance programs to apply to, making the Village’s grant writer available to help with applications and encouraging residents to use the businesses.
“What are the things we can commit to even if they’re simple,” she said.
Council passed a motion to accept staff’s recommendation unanimously.