Sicamous Eagles players sit down to breakfast in the “Eagles’ Nest” dormitory behind the Sicamous and District Rec Centre. 
(Jim Elliot - Eagle Valley News)

Sicamous Eagles players sit down to breakfast in the “Eagles’ Nest” dormitory behind the Sicamous and District Rec Centre. (Jim Elliot - Eagle Valley News)

Eagle Valley News Year In Review 2020: February

The News looks back at some of the stories that made headlines in 2020

  • Jan. 3, 2021 2:00 p.m.

• At the school board’s Tuesday, Sept. 22, meeting, the trustees received a presentation and request from District of Sicamous operations manager Joe McCulloch. The presentation revolved around two properties adjacent to Eagle River Secondary. One contains the Sicamous-owned tennis courts. The other property, an empty lot to the south of the tennis courts, is owned by Telus. McCulloch explained Sicamous would like to apply for federal infrastructure grant funding to the tune of $600,000. The funding would go towards repairing and reconfiguring the tennis courts to include one permanent tennis court (with lines for four pickleball courts), two permanent pickleball courts and a full-size basketball court that could also be used for hockey. Proposed for the Telus property are two pickleball courts and parking for up to 12 vehicles. McCulloch proposed that Sicamous and the school district would each contribute 13.3 per cent, or $81,000, with grant funding covering the remainder.

• At the recent School District 83 board meeting, trustees received a report from director of operations Trevor Bettcher on upgrades that occurred over the summer. Regarding Parkview elementary school, which Bettcher said had been “up high on everybody’s list,” school distinct staff completed a concrete skim coat in the crawlspace and upgraded the roof drain system, both to address issues with moisture in the crawlspace. In September 2020, the school district suspended operations at Parkview after a musty odour was detected following a rainstorm. Students were transferred to Eagle River Secondary and schools in Salmon Arm until Parkview reopened in November. “We have a bit more work to do, probably in the spring time, but we’re feeling more comfortable there,” said Bettcher, adding a hallway floor was also replaced in the school.

• The District of Sicamous issued a statement confirming property taxes owed by Waterway Houseboats before the company entered receivership in 2019 were no longer outstanding. The Sept. 30 statement noted that $83,991 in property taxes owed to the district was paid when the bank overseeing the receivership of the houseboat company sold its former Mervyn Road property to its new owners. The property was sold to an Alberta-based developer in December 2019 for $2.6 million. According to the district, the account for the property was up to date with no outstanding debts remaining. The update on the outstanding property taxes came in response to a Sept. 29 post on a community Facebook group which questioned how the company’s outstanding tax total reached more than $80,000.

• The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District was facing financial strain in a year beset by challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter shared on Friday, Oct. 9, superintendent Peter Jory said a combination of factors related to funding and enrolment have plunged School District 83 into a deficit of more than $2 million, leading to staff reductions that are expected to continue. This comes after roughly 300 students opted to take part in the Education Outreach Program (EOP), the district’s online education program that was previously available only to high school students, but was reopened this year for students from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

• Preliminary results on the night of B.C.’s 42nd general election held Saturday, Oct. 24, showed Shuswap BC Liberal Party candidate Greg Kyllo winning by a comfortable margin. As of Monday, Oct. 26, with 108 of 109 polls reporting, Kyllo had 10,547 votes, followed by BC NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren with 6,4298 votes and BC Green Party candidate Owen Madden with 2,995 votes. Provincewide, preliminary results showed the snap election paying off for John Horgan and the BC NDP, whose party won in 53 ridings (44 were needed for a majority).

• A shared living space helped this year’s Sicamous Eagles squad stay COVID-19 free and come together as a team ahead of the coming season. The KIJHL team moved into the prefabricated structure, dubbed “The Eagles’ Nest,” and players were already settling in to what will be their home for the season. Rookies Donovan Edwards and Rhett Walker, both from Alberta, reflected on the new space as they dined on a late breakfast of coffee and cereal in the dormitory’s well stocked kitchen. “I love it. It’s a totally different experience getting to hang out with the boys and just have a good time getting to know everyone really fast,” Edwards said.

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Grass grows through cracks in the concrete at Sicamous' public tennis courts adjacent to Eagle River Secondary. The District of Sicamous has asked School District#83 to partner on a grant application to repair and reconfigure the courts to create a new sports complex. (Lachlan Labere-Eagle Valley News)

BC Liberal Party Shuswap candidate Greg Kyllo and wife Georgina celebrate another successful campaign, with preliminary results for the 42nd provincial general election showing Greg winning the riding with a comfortable majority. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)

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