A Salmon Arm business owner has concerns with the city fire department’s annual street and parking lot cleaning fundraiser. (File photo)

Firefighter fundraising clean-up impacts Salmon Arm business

Concerns about the Salmon Arm Fire Department’s annual spring cleaning activities didn’t wash with city council.

Last Monday, council received a letter from local businessman Ken Gennings, who wished to share his concern regarding the fire department’s annual fundraising effort of cleaning of parking lots.

In the letter, Gennings said he supports the city’s firefighters and their fundraising but, as a small businessperson, part of his annual income comes from the sweeping of parking lots.

“This takes away from my stream of income as well as my employees,” said Gennings, adding the material his company sweeps up is recycled. This leads to his next point, that hosing off silt and aggregate may clean a parking lot, but it goes into catch basins and storm drains.

“Although contaminants will always be present on roadways and parking lots, and continuously washed into our storm drains, this practice moves a substantial amount of contaminants directly into the storm drains at one time,” said Gennings. “It’s my belief that many of the contaminants from the winter are trapped in the layers of silt and aggregates, and when the parking lots are mechanically swept, many of the contaminants are removed with it.”

Gennings suggests the city work with private contractors and have them remove the heavy sediment and aggregate and the fire department could then wash down the fine silt.

Fire Chief Brad Shirley said the annual washing of parking lots is both a training opportunity, as well as a fundraising effort. Shirley added the practice is happening less and less as the different firehalls look to alternative fundraising streams.

“I know this year, for example, Hall 1 in Canoe is doing four parking lots, Hall 2 is doing 10, Hall 3 downtown is doing three or four… and Hall 4 is doing two parking lots,” said Shirley. “ They are finding different ways to raise money and getting away from that but it’s still a practice.”

Asked about the impact on catch basins, city engineering and public works director Rob Niewenhuizen said most of the city’s have sumps and they’re cleaned out annually. Regarding water used for the cleaning, he said it’s metered and that it occurs at a time of low use so it’s not a concern.

Coun. Alan Harrison said he appreciates Gennings’ letter but also supports the fire department helping the city with cleaning.

“I think it’s a win-win,” said Harrison. “I understand what Mr. Gennings is saying, but it’s a win because the fire department is helping out, people see the fire department helping out and it helps the city.”


@SalmonArm
lachlan@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Shuswap bottle drive to support pediatric cancer research

Young cancer patient doing her best to help others with the disease that hits one in 333 kids

Regional district directors’ pay conflict resolved in new bylaw

11th-hour attempt for more by CSRD electoral area directors fails

Iconic Shuswap sternwheeler undergoing work for return to service

Sicamous business owner Mike Helfrick hopes to offer dinner tours on historic vessel

Salmon Arm Silverbacks on a hot streak at Bauer BCHL showcase

Shuswap skaters put up back-to-back wins against Victoria, Alberni Valley

In photos: Ready, set, roll!

Friendship Day Soap Box Derby excitement in downtown Salmon Arm

Weekday weather update

A look at your Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather for Sept. 24

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Don’t feed birds in the parking lot

Vernon wildlife control services owner says feeding ducks and geese, or any wildlife, is bad

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Most Read