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

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Shuswap thief nabs purse in hospital, attempts to steal taxi

Salmon Arm RCMP arrest suspect who judge orders to stay behind bars until trial

School District 83 says a buyer is lined up for Salmon Arm’s DAC

Few details available, but sale is said to be finalized by Jan. 31

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

Natalie Wilkie takes fourth at Para Nordic World Championships in Finland

Salmon Arm Paralympian finishes with top time among Team Canada’s women’s skiers

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Final phase of Kelowna hospital cardiac centre completed

Finishing new recovery rooms last stage of $381 million project

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read