December 13th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 50
Bus drivers, snow plowing and campgrounds at Council
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council from left tor right: Councillors Marlene Anctil, Dave Filipuzzi, Doreen Glavin, Mayor Blair Painter, Councillors Lisa Sygutek, Gordon Lundy and Dean Ward.
Pass Herald Reporter
The Crowsnest Pass school bus drivers presented to Council as a delegation, requesting a change to the snow removal policy.

The entire fleet of regular bus drivers was present at the delegation in a show of support, including their health and safety designate.

Upon reviewing the municipality’s Snow Clearing and Ice Control Policy, the representative of the bus drivers said she was “surprised to see that there was no mention of the school bus routes.”

Following the big snowfall at the beginning of November, bus drivers felt that roadways were not cleared to acceptable standards. However, as the municipality explained, the public works department was short-staffed that day, with only seven available workers out of 12 or 13.

Currently, the prioritization of snow clearing is classified by routes A to E, where “A” routes include “all major transportation routes (arterial) within the municipality, emergency vehicle accesses, commercial core business areas, and roadways with major slopes,” according to the policy. “B” routes include collector routes, school zones and industrial areas. “C” routes encompass the remainder of residential roadways that are not classified A or B. “D” routes are laneways, municipal owned parking areas, and recreational roadways. The last tier, “E” routes, include parking lots of recreational and commercial areas and remaining snow ridges in residential driveways.

Council indicated that they would revisit the snow clearing policy and establish better communication between the bus drivers and administration to keep them better informed on road conditions and plowing progress.
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Bellecrest Campground

A report from the operator of the Bellecrest Campground in Bellevue showed a facility in need of maintenance and a “local population abuse” of the site. The report indicated that the facility requires extensive repairs and beautification to attract visitors.

The report indicated that the garbage dumpster is being abused by non-campers disposing of inappropriate items like animal carcasses and mattresses. Non-campers and alleged local acreage owners who are trying to avoid installing septic systems on their own property took advantage of the campground’s sewage system. There was also vandalism involving the self-registration box and the teepee deck.

The operator stressed that a “re-branding” of the facility is imperative to attract visitors. Among other items, they suggested the installation of Wi-Fi, security cameras and a gate for guest safety at night. They also recommended eliminating the self-registration system and having a campground “host” on-site.

The operator noted that they might be in favour of bearing the costs of bringing the facility up to standards if the municipality were to sign a contract that is longer than their current three-month term.

The Bellecrest Association operated the campground until spring 2017. Campground operation was then temporarily taken over by the municipality, and as of July 1, an agreement was reached with a third party to operate and maintain the campground until October 2017.
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Throughout the months of July, August, September, 123 trailers and 43 tents utilized the facility, bringing revenue of $2,290. However, according to the report, “The improvements and labour for the maintenance of the facility far outweigh the revenue collected for the term.”

Councillor Dave Filipuzzi said that he was “disheartened” by the report, as the Bellecrest Campground has been an intrinsic part of Bellevue for many years.

Council agreed that the municipality alone cannot bear the cost of fully renovating the area, and that it is inappropriate for the municipality to be in direct competition with local privately owned campgrounds.

Councillor Dean Ward said that he would be in favour of discussing a longer-term contract with the current operator, provided that any upgrades would come at no cost to the taxpayer.

Councillor Lisa Sygutek recommended turning the campsite into a day-use area. The operator indicated that day-use is a common utilization of the campsite, with highway drivers stopping to use the washrooms or take out their pet.

Council directed Administration to begin discussion with the operator about a longer contract and further maintenance of the site, and potentially turn it into a day-use area if an agreement cannot be reached.
December 13th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 50
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