RDCK Election 2011: Walter Popoff anxious for second term as Area H director
Walter Popoff is one of two candidates — along with Will Parker — for the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Area H, an area just northwest of Nelson that contains many of the people that build, work, shop and make the Heritage City what is really is.
As the incumbent, we asked him some answers to a few questions as the Nov. 19 date for the regional district election approaches:
There is unfinished business in Area H, at least according to incumbent directorial candidate Walter Popoff.
He pointed to four main issues that propelled him to want to throw his hat back into the ring in the coming (Nov. 19) regional district election, including development of a Slocan Lake management plan.
In serving his first term of office — he was elected in 2008 — Popoff became even deeper immersed in the workings of the Slocan Valley, and felt the management plan, establishment of a soil removal bylaw (to address gravel pits), community hall retrofits and the Sandon historical plan as necessary of his further attention.
The Slocan Lake Stewardship Society has done most of the science for the lake and now they will be going forward with a study to examine the objectives, issues, scope of work and the methodology for the development of a management plan, said Popoff.
“Along with the major stakeholders we will develop a guide for future development to have minimal impact on fish habitat, animal habitat, water quality and consideration of community and social values,” he said.
Born in Nelson and raised in the Slocan Valley, Popoff was employed with Telus Communications as an engineering technologist and was headquartered in Nelson until his retirement in 2002.
Over the years he has been involved as a volunteer in many different organizations in the Slocan Valley, including the advisory planning commission in Area H for eight years (six as chair), and the senior citizen’s counselor with Interior Health for the Slocan Valley.
Running on the slogan of accessible, responsive local governance that reflects community values, Popoff pointed to several accomplishments in his first three-year term of office.
Although still somewhat controversial, he was instrumental in allowing South Slocan to comply with an IHA order to provide treatment to their drinking water, raising an unprecedented $685,000 in grant money and installing a new water tank and treatment plant.
Soil removal bylaw
Popoff wanted to see the establishment of a soil removal bylaw to address the issues of gravel pits in the valley residential neighborhoods.
The chief inspector of mines does not have a mandate to consider the merits of the proposed gravel pit from a zoning or a land use planning perspective, said Popoff, and extraction of gravel cannot be prohibited by local government.
“However as local government we would be working on a soil removal bylaw to regulate processing which is defined as drying, stockpiling, crushing, sorting, screening and washing of sand, gravel and rock to produce finished aggregate products,” he said.
Water, water everywhere
Work in the realm of water continued fro Popoff during his term as provided support and funding to SPCARE Society for the protection of their watershed on Radcliffe Ridge, supported the Mount Sentinel and Perry Ridge Water users in protection of their watersheds, and allocated funding to the Denver Siding water system to assist with upgrades.
• Provided funding to the Hills Recreation Commission for the completion of their Fire/Community Hall.
• As a result of subdivision requiring parkland dedication, secured additional parkland property to protect sensitive riparian area at the confluence of Slocan and Little Slocan Rivers.
• Negotiated one of the lowest taxation agreements in RDCK for a library service in the southern portion of Area H.