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High water troubles and dealing with delinquent, unpaid parking tickets

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
June 10th, 2018

One proposed solution to collecting on unpaid parking tickets is beginning to resonate across the province and it could get some play in Nelson if it gets any further.

The mayor of Whistler has asked the province’s attorney general to help recover unpaid bylaw fines and generate some additional non-tax revenue for both ICBC and municipalities — an idea that the City of Whistler hopes will gain traction with municipalities across the province.

The idea does have some merit in the Heritage City since unpaid parking tickets are considered a problem, according to city staff, and the debt is considerable.

Nelson Mayor Deb Kozak confirmed that although the city does have some delinquent tickets, the idea to get the province involved has not been discussed at the council level yet.

“Parking is a perpetual problem in Nelson and it is nothing new,” said Kozak, and the city would support the idea of getting the province involved with the unpaid tickets.

Municipalities lose a significant amount of non-tax revenue annually because of unpaid bylaw fines — some cities in BC in the millions of dollars.

According to the resolution, unpaid parking tickets would be paid at ICBC when drivers go to renew their licence or their auto insurance.

It says all municipalities in B.C. would benefit by receiving millions of dollars in non-tax revenue. 

The resolution, which has been sent to a number of municipalities across the province, says revenues could also be shared with ICBC to ensure the agreement is beneficial for both parties.

High water and potential flooding

An above normal snowpack has the city poised on the brink of the highest lake level it has ever seen, says the city’s fire chief.

Len MacCharles said the snowpack was almost 180 per cent of normal, and the region is still seeing more and more of the meltwater from that snow fall coming down.

The information on the snowpack is that Kootenay Lake levels could meet or exceed the levels of 2012 — the highest on record — said MacCharles.

In order to prepare for that possibility, the city set up a preliminary Emergency Operations Centre recently, pulling together city department heads and managers to talk about the potential impacts and the overall circumstance related to flooding.

Opening up the EOC meant the city could understand the impacts of the higher water, to develop action plans and to coordinate city efforts to ensure timely and accurate messaging to the public.

In the end the city was able to share that information with FortisBC, BC Hydro and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who control the level of the Libby Dam and are ultimately able to assess and help the city’s situation.

“Right now FortisBC is predicting the lake to peak at just over 1,750 feet in Nelson, just under what the city saw in 2012,” said MacCharles.

“Going forward the weather right now is going to be the big factor. Right now things look better with the weather much cooler … and not a lot of precipitation predicted.”

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