The Upper Lillooet Hydro Project is right on schedule, according to Innergex Renewable Energy, the developer heading the project.
Giving the company's annual update to Village of Pemberton (VOP) council at the Jan. 6 meeting, representatives of Innergex talked about the work that was done in 2014 — including right-of-way clearing, concrete pouring and pole installation.
Project manager Oliver Robson said the project is about to enter its biggest construction season, with about 315 workers on site this spring.
Asked what challenges Innergex faced last year, Robson said the mountainous terrain has proved difficult but a team of professionals has been analyzing the area to ensure the safety of everyone on site. In the summer, 30 days of productivity were lost due to extreme fire ratings.
The project is still on schedule for a late 2016 completion. Weekly reports can be found at www.upperlillooethydro.com/construction.
COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST $35 FEE FOR ROUNDABOUT SIGNAGE
After a lengthy discussion, council voted against charging community groups a nonrefundable $35 fee for posting notices to the newly refurbished sign at the Portage Road roundabout.
The fee was proposed by administration to help offset the costs associated with booking and installing notices to the sign, which the VOP spent $5,300 refurbishing last year.
The proposed change was to protect the integrity of the new sign, said Sheena Fraser, manager of corporate and legislative services with the VOP.
"That's one of the concerns, because people were just going and hammering," Fraser said. "That created a lot of wear and tear and the wood was all rotting, and we're trying to avoid that going forward."
Councillor Jennie Helmer said she didn't think charging community groups to use the sign was fair.
"It does not seem in line with who we are as a community, so I don't agree with that," she said.
Council also voted to reduce the current refundable cost for booking space on the sign from $50 to $20.
In addition to the roundabout sign, the VOP provides a free community events calendar on its website and rents out banner space on its Gateway Banner at the corner of Portage Road and Highway 99.
CONTRACT AWARDED FOR UNDERGROUND SERVICES ASSESSMENT
Also at the Jan. 6 meeting, council gave its approval to award a contract to ISL Engineering and Land Services in the amount of $16,725 for the assessment of 410 metres of underground services as part of the VOP's Asset Management Strategy.
The contract comes after a similar assessment of Pemberton's roads was finalized in October of last year.
ISL will be tasked with reviewing the condition and renewal timing of water and sewer infrastructure under the roads found to be in the worst condition in the October assessment.
A second phase will assess the remainder of Pemberton's water and sewer infrastructure once remediation and upgrades are completed on the village's worst-condition roads.
"There is, I believe, some urgency to do just the first phase, because the second phase is going to take some time," public works manager Lonny Miller said.
WINTERFEST TAKES PLACE JAN. 16-18
After being cancelled last year due to poor winter weather conditions, Pemberton Winterfest is once again set to take place Jan. 16-18 at One Mile Lake.
Activities include ice skating, hockey, outdoor movies, live entertainment and fireworks.
"Rain, sun, shine, snow, sleet or hail, it will happen this year regardless," said councillor James Linklater. "But we're hoping for winter to stay."
Residents can park at the Old Highways Yard behind the Visitor Centre and at the Pemberton Community Centre, where shuttles will take them to One Mile Lake.
There will be no parking at the lake during the event.
A full schedule of activities can be found at www.pembertonwinterfest.com.