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Telkwa mayor on medical leave

Telkwa council deals with hall repairs, bike trail and parking without Mayor Darcy Repen.
Deputy Mayor Leroy Dekens will act as mayor while Darcy Repen is on a medical leave. Marisca Bakker photo

It was decided at the last Village of Telkwa meeting that Deputy Mayor Leroy Dekens will step in for Mayor Darcy Repen while he’s on a medical leave.

Councillor Brad Layton was nominated by the rest of council to act as deputy mayor.

Also at the meeting, a spokesperson from Cycle 16 Trail Society gave an update on the journey to build a bike lane from Telkwa to Smithers along Highway 16 at the meeting (see story on A16).

Society spokesman Tony Harris explained that detailed design work for Phase 1, the Smithers to Laidlaw Road portion of the trail will begin this summer. The society will be using a grant from the village to help pay this work so he wanted to make sure council was on board with the money being used on a portion that isn’t in the village.

The society has chosen to start from Smithers and work their way to Telkwa because more private land owners on that side have given permission for the trail to cut along their properties. Harris is hoping the property owners closer to Telkwa that aren’t convinced of the trail yet will see the vision and hop on or the Ministry of Transportation will give them a variance and allow them to create the trail closer to the highway, if need be.

“We’ve got pretty support from the highways, pretty good support from the Regional District, although [Telkwa councillor] Brad [Layton], [Smithers Mayor] Taylor [Bachrach] and [RDBN Area A director] Mark [Fisher] had to fight for that, pretty good support from Smithers. We feel it is a robust project, everyone we talk to seems like it is a good idea. We are forging ahead, we are getting tired but we are still forging ahead.”

Council is supportive of this project and were understanding of the need to start in Smithers.

Cycle 16 is organizing a mass ride from the Smithers Farmer’s Market out along Highway 16 and back on June 2 to mark the end of Bike to Work Week.

The issue of fixing the community hall also came up during the meeting. The hall is in need of extensive repairs and council has made it a priority to repair the problems, such as upgrading the electrical and repairing the roof.

Only one company responded to the tender and it came in higher than expected. Staff is now looking for direction on use of the general operating reserve to award the tender as presented, or reduce the scope of the project to meet available funding. However, councillors had questions and the director of operations was on holiday so a motion was made to wait until he was back and could clarify some of the confusion. A special meeting will be held this week to discuss it.

Layton also brought up concerns about people parking in front of the bus stop while getting ice cream from the Riverbend Ice Cream Shoppe and not allowing the bus to pick up or drop off passengers at that location. He made a motion to write a letter to remind the owners of the ice cream stand that their customers aren’t allowed to park by the bus stop during bus hours.

The Village also has plans to paint lines there so it is clear where people can and can’t park.

Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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