JULY 22nd, 2021 – BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVED ROAD ACCESS FOR STELLA-JONES
The Board approved the following motion at the Special Regular meeting held Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 6 pm:
“That the Board of Education for School District 10 (Arrow Lakes) approve the request for road access by Stella-Jones, through Burton School property that requires the construction of a 200 metre road located on the upper part of the Burton Elementary School property, connecting to the existing Ruby Ridge Road, as was presented on the proposed site map prepared by Stella-Jones.”
The Board also passed a motion that all proceeds raised by granting road access and timber sale revenue for trees on SD 10 property cleared for the road will be made available to Burton Elementary School.
THE BOARD PROVIDED AMPLE OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC INPUT
Three opportunities for public input were extended to public on the question of whether or not to grant road access to Stella-Jones across the northeast corner of the 69 acre Burton School property:
- May 18th at the Regular meeting, the Board Chair invited any interested members to send written feedback
- Between May 18th and the June 15th Regular meeting, four written responses were received as on the chart above.
- One response indicated concern about logging due to potential impact on water and three responses indicated support for allowing road access citing fire danger as the rationale for support.
- A public consultation meeting was held at Burton School and online via Zoom on July 7th
- The meeting was well attended with 15 members of the public present in person and virtually
- Paul Peterson, RDCK Director and Burton resident acted as moderator and three trustees were able to attend, along with three members of district staff
- Members of the community of Burton and Arrow Park had numerous questions about the proposed road, and more specifically about the proposed logging plan, the maps, images and reports shared by Dave Eddy and Pat McMechan from Stella-Jones
- A range of responses were heard:
- Some concerns were expressed about logging practices and impact on domestic water
- Some concerns were expressed about fire danger with fir beetle impacting the forest on Ruby Ridge
- Most of the comments and questions did not weigh in on whether there should be a road allowed across SD 10 property but were questions and requests for clarification to the Stella-Jones representatives
- In general, the tone of the meeting was very positive and supportive of the school district holding this public opportunity for information-sharing, questions and input
- Public attending the meeting were advised that until July 15th at noon, written responses could be shared
- The email address for sending written responses was communicated at the meeting, as was information that the Zoom recording would be available on the SD 10 website in the next couple of days for anyone who missed the meeting
- On July 8th, the SD 10 website was updated with information about the meeting along with an invitation for public input July 7th to 15th
- An updated Stella-Jones map showing the proposed road access was included as well as a recap of the process and consultation to date
- Link to the Zoom recording was also posted
- Email link was provided for written input
Two responses were received between the public consultation and July 15th deadline as on the
- One response from a former Burton resident expressed concerns about logging practices in BC; not in favour of road access
- One response from a Burton resident expressed concern over forest fire danger; in favour of road access
The Board and District thank the members of the Burton community for their interest and feedback on the proposed road access.
We understand that Stella-Jones will be conducting community meetings in early September, hopefully once the forest fire smoke and danger has abated.