The CP Holiday Train won’t be rolling through the district this year due to COVID-19 concerns. (Black Press file photo)

District Council: No Holiday Train this year

CP Rail, district working together on alternatives

The pandemic’s effects continue to ripple through the District of Kent.

After speaking with CP Rail director of indigenous relations and government affairs Mike LoVecchio, Mayor Sylvia Pranger announced there would be no CP Holiday Train in the area this year.

“We can’t risk having crowds,” she said at the District Council meeting on Monday (September 14). Mayor Pranger added local event coordinators are working on alternative plans on how to support local food banks.

WATCH: CP Holiday Train delivers holiday cheer and a $7,000 cheque in Agassiz

Every year, CP Rail donates $7,000 to Agassiz-Harrison Community Services Food Bank, which Pranger said makes up a large portion of the food bank’s requirements for the year. To inquire about donating, call the food bank at 604-796-2585.

In other council business, the council recognized September 21 through 27 as Rail Safety Week. Though this tradition has stretches back several years, this year’s recognition is a bit more poignant with the train derailment in Hope earlier that Monday.

Mayor Pranger stressed the need for vigilance, particularly while the tracks were being repaired after 60 train cars carrying potash derailed near Hope. For some time after the derailment, train traffic through the district virtually doubled as trains were going both east and west.

RELATED: KENT COUNCIL: Agassiz Museum seeks lighting improvements after vandalism, break-in

The council moved to apply to the Fire Underwriters Survey to extend the deadline to replace a fire engine. According to fire chief Gerald Basten, the Agassiz Fire Department maintains two engines. To keep insurance premiums low, the Fire Underwriters Survey requires municipalities to have first-line fire vehicles that can respond effectively and efficiently to calls. The five-year extension would delay the replacement and many costs associated with it until 2027.

October 1 is UN International Day of Older Persons in the District of Kent, as declared by Mayor Pranger.

Council approved awarding the construction contract for the wastewater treatment plant addition to Spaeti Construction. Coun. Susan Spaeti excused herself from the discussion and vote as her husband owns the company. This addition will house the main computer server, which Mayor Pranger said was what alerted the district to the water problem on Rockwell Drive earlier this year.

The next regular Kent Council meeting is scheduled for October 14 at 7 p.m. at Municipal Hall. Please remember COVID-19 restrictions are in place and prepare accordingly .

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