A small place in size and population, the Village of Pemberton and the wider region around it were home to some pretty big stories in 2012. Here are just a few.
In February, the Village of Pemberton (VOP) was chugging along nicely, having bought the former BC Rail train station as part of the Frontier Street redevelopment project for $285,000, with funds coming out of the council's park acquisition reserves.
The property had been on the market since 2011, with the purchase by the village "taking some months to negotiate," said Mayor Jordan Sturdy. "This is a lot that has tremendous strategic value for Pemberton."
The year also saw a request to the federal government for moving Pemberton to the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding, away from its current Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon riding. Sturdy said Pemberton's interests are more closely aligned with Whistler and Squamish than with Chilliwack and the Fraser Canyon. This led to a public hearing in Squamish in September, where the Federal Election Boundaries Commission heard submissions from local politicians.
The proposed Gates Lake recreational facility in Birken, between Pemberton and D'Arcy, was in the news throughout 2012. In July, an open house into the 5,000 sq. ft. recreation facility and community hall proposal was presented to the public, but the issue remained unresolved at the end of 2012.
The race to replace BC Liberal MLA Joan McIntyre began with Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy announcing his intention to seek the BC Liberal candidacy in October. As of the end of 2012, there were no other candidates for the party. The provincial election is in May 2013.
In December, Pemberton Council tabled a bylaw which would allow them to terminate its longstanding arrangement to supply water to Pemberton North, in Area C of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.
The Termination of Water Services Bylaw No. 717, 2012 A, subtitled "A Bylaw to discontinue the provision of bulk water service to Pemberton North Water System (PNWS) failing execution of a bulk water service agreement between the Village of Pemberton and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District" unanimously passed its first, second and third reading at the regular council meeting of Dec. 4.
Village of Pemberton documents cited the $448,938.19 in outstanding and unpaid fees owed to the VOP by the SLRD. The VOP has supplied water to Pemberton North since 1990. Council deferred the fourth and final reading to the Jan. 22, 2013 council meeting.
Walks on the wildside
Land and protecting the environment around the Pemberton Valley were big themes in 2012.
Early in the year, the Pemberton Valley Trails Association (PVTA) told the Village of Pemberton council that it hoped to establish an 8.5-kilometre trail up the region's iconic Mount Currie. The trail would cut through Crown Land to take users from the valley to the sub-alpine area, a rise of 1,700 metres.