Thola Heckrodt races up The Beast during the Teck BC Cup Interval start classic even at Larch Hills on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022. (Brad Calkins photo)

Thola Heckrodt races up The Beast during the Teck BC Cup Interval start classic even at Larch Hills on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022. (Brad Calkins photo)

Year in Review: The Observer looks back at headlines from February 2022

  • Dec. 24, 2022 10:00 a.m.

The Salmon Arm Observer looks back at the stories that made headlines in 2022.

February

Parking rates in Salmon Arm will be increasing, come the summer. Parking meter/ticket machine rates will increase as of July 1, 2022, and the rate for reserved parking stalls following a six-month notification period. Salmon Arm council approved the recommendations from the city’s downtown parking commission at its Jan. 24 council meeting. The parking meter/ticket machine rates will be going up from 25 cents per hour to $1 per hour. The reserved parking stall rates, which are now $25 and $35 per month respectively for non-personalized and personalized stalls, will be jumping to $50 and $60 per month.
Peavey Mart may be coming to Centenoka Park Mall to fill the remaining space left vacant by Safeway. The City of Salmon Arm received a development variance permit application regarding the mall parking lot from R.P. Johnson Construction Ltd. A Dec. 20, 2021, letter from managing director Lance Johnson states: “This letter is in support of our request for a parking variance to the side-yard requirement for the existing parking lot at Centenoka Park Mall. We have entered into a conditional lease agreement with Peavey Mart to take the remaining 25,000 square feet of what is formally known as Safeway which includes a side gardening yard.”
Snowy, slippery highway conditions in the Shuswap were factors in several collisions along Highway 1. Around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2, police and other emergency services responded to a collision involving two commercial trucks on Highway 1 in Tappen.“A westbound semi truck towing two empty fuel trailers took evasive action and was able to avoid a head-on collision, but both trucks did side swipe each other,” said Salmon Arm Staff Sgt. Scott West. On the same night, around 9:20 p.m., police and paramedics responded to a collision on Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm, near the 109 Forest Service Rd. Police said an eastbound semi lost control in slippery road conditions and went into the eastbound ditch. The driver wasn’t injured and the vehicle is not interfering with traffic.
• The number of sexual assaults reported to police at the end of 2021 was up substantially over the same period in 2020. When providing statistics to Salmon Arm council, Staff Sgt. Scott West said sexual offence reports had risen, which “may be in part due to increased awareness, as well as us instituting, with the help of the SAFE Society, third-party sexual assault reporting…” The number of sexual assaults reported to Salmon Arm RCMP in October, November and December 2021 was 13 in the city, a jump from just one during the same period in 2020. In the rural area surrounding the city that Salmon Arm polices, those reports went from two in the fourth quarter of 2020 to three in 2021.
• Salmon Arm’s population rose by nearly 10 per cent since 2016, a figure Salmon Arm’s mayor deemed ‘perfect.’ In 2016, the city’s population was measured at 17,706 but by May 2021, when the most recent census was recorded, the total had increased by 9.6 per cent or 1,726 people to just short of 20,000 – 19,432. On Feb. 9 when Statistics Canada released the numbers, Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison expressed his enthusiastic approval. “That’s an annual increase of about two per cent per year. Spot on, perfect, couldn’t be better. Steady, even growth, two per cent per year we can handle.”
• Salmon Arm residents are urging improvements to the intersection of Third Street and Fifth Avenue SW before someone loses their life. Nearby resident David Harding pointed out that his friend Ken Derkach was struck and injured by a vehicle in a hitand-run as he crossed Fifth Avenue SW with his walker about six weeks ago. Harding said as the number of people using the intersection grows, and drivers continue to speed along Fifth where the intersection is not highly visible, the risk climbs. Three affordable housing buildings have gone up near the intersection in the past year, joining another four or so apartment/ condo complexes in the area.
• The Larch Hills Junior Race Team and the Larch Hills Nordic Society hosted the second event in the 2022 Teck BC Cup series over the weekend. The event ran Feb. 12 and 13. More than 400 athletes registered for the event, representing clubs from B.C., Alberta and the Northwest Territories. This event marked the first major multiclub event at Larch Hills since early 2020.
• The City of Salmon Arm will be looking for voter approval to borrow more than $2 million for one of two water infrastructure projects deemed essential by city council. At its Monday, Feb. 12, meeting, council voted to support a loan authorization bylaw enabling the city to proceed towards an alternate approval process, through which voter assent will be sought to borrow $2,298,000 for the construction of a replacement to the Zone 5 booster (water pumping) station. A related city staff report to council notes the existing booster station, located near the 30th Street SE/10th Ave SE intersection, has “exceeded its useful life,” while an asset management risk evaluation process identified the Zone 5 station as being at very high risk due to increased development in the city’s lower southeast quadrant putting further pressure on the system. The project was estimated to cost $2,523,000, with $255,000 of that coming from the city’s water development cost charge reserve. The city is looking to long-term borrowing for the remaining $2.298 million, which requires elector assent.
• It was announced Wednesday, Feb. 16, that following an extensive recruitment process, Erin Jackson had been appointed the city’s chief administrative officer. Formerly the city’s corporate services director, Jackson had been the acting CAO since June 15, following the departure of former CAO Carl Bannister.
• A man sustained extensive injuries after being hit by a train in Salmon Arm. According to Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West, the man was walking along the tracks around 11:25 a.m. on Feb. 13 when he saw a train coming and stepped off. However, the man was not clear of the train which is wider than the railway track. The man was airlifted to a “major hospital in the Interior of B.C.” to receive care.

newsroom@saobserver.net
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