File Photo

File Photo

District of Kent Council’s first broadcast council meeting a success

District officials deliver COVID updates, approve upgrades for the fire department and more

There was nary a glitch to be found when the District of Kent council went virtual for last week’s meeting.

District of Kent’s council conducted their first online council meeting on Monday, Dec. 14. This follows orders from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry barring in-person public attendance to council meetings. Council and district officials attended the meeting at Municipal Hall while members of the public attended via Microsoft Teams. Though members of the public could not interact with district officials by way of video or audio, a district moderator was on hand to forward questions and comments to council at the appropriate times.

During Monday’s meeting, Coun. Susan Spaeti updated officials and the public concerning local COVID news. Testing sites in Chilliwack continue to see approximately 300 people per day, while in Hope, about 30 tests come through on average daily. Coun. Spaeti said hospitals are busy but not overwhelmed; health care workers are catching up with the surgical and procedural backlog from the spring and everyone admitted to local hospitals is tested for COVID-19.

RELATED: District of Kent Council delivers COVID-19 updates

While COVID-19 vaccination has as of Tuesday, Dec. 16, begun in B.C., Coun. Spaeti cautioned the public that pandemic-related restrictions must continue to be adhered to in order to minimize severe outcomes and death.

“The arrival of the vaccine doesn’t mean we can [immediately] go back to the way it was,” Coun. Spaeti said. “It will take time before we can do so.”

According to the latest information from the B.C. Center for Disease Control (BCCDC), total cases for Agassiz-Harrison hold steady at 66; data on local COVID-related deaths is not available as of publication.

There have been two outbreaks at Agassiz Seniors Community, including one that is ongoing as of publication that began on Dec. 10. There have been two exposure events at Agassiz Elementary Secondary School, the most recent being between Dec. 2 and Dec. 4.

In other council business, Coun. Spaeti and volunteers from Agassiz Harrison Community Services and a number of other local organizations wrapped 430 Christmas gifts for this year’s Magic of Christmas drive-thru event.

The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau gathered the donations to give to children via one of their top volunteers, the one and only Santa Claus and his elves.

Council approved the priorities of the Parks and Trails Priority Plan. Ongoing projects in the works include funding the Indoor Regional Pool, pickleball courts at Centennial Park and upgrades in lighting and playground surfacing for Pioneer and Schep parks.

RELATED: Kent Council examines housing issues, future prospects

Residents in the district may have spotted Constable Scarecrow, stand-up images of an Agassiz RCMP officer with a radar gun in an effort to visually deter drivers from speeding and to improve driving.

Council approved of the addition of 10 bike racks to be placed at locations throughout the district, including parks in Harrison and Agassiz.

Council approved improvements for the Agassiz Fire Department, including moving ahead with improvements to the training facility and a new hydraulic rescue. The rescue tool makes auto accident extrication and other forcible entry means possible, which could lead to more saved lives.

“Don’t let that cutout fool you,” the District said in its bi-weekly council update. “You just never know when the scarecrow version will be replaced with the actual RCMP member.”

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2021. To find out how to attend virtually, visit the district website at www.kentbc.ca.

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