Category Archives: News

Coalmont Community Association

The second meeting of what was first called the “Coalmont Ratepayers Association” was held at the Coalmont Hotel tonight. One of the first things on the agenda was choosing a name and, since inclusivity was on the top of everybody’s list, it was decided that the organization should be called the Coalmont Community Association.

From this meeting it was obvious that there is a desire for people to be in touch regarding things that effect us which are happening in the regional district and beyond. There was no talk of local contentious issues. In fact the discussion was quite lively and upbeat.

When the meeting started, there was a cheer for Bob Sterne who has, amazingly, just come back from a sudden death experience. (See previous article.) That set a nice caring tone for the evening.

Most of the agenda was necessarily administrative because of the newness of the association. There is now a basic mission statement and constitution. Becoming a registered society will be the next step.

Present at the meeting were about 25 people, including Ole Juul (chair), Ernie Rice (vice chair), and Penny Goodfellow (secretary/treasurer). Our local Area ‘H’ representative, Brad Hope, was also there to answer questions and, as it turns out, get some input from those present which he can take back to the RDOS board. This specifically regarding the Princeton Landfill which we pay (probably more than) our share of. A number of people reported being charged extra fees. This was surprising news to Hope and it is now looking like the cost of the landfill is not being distributed fairly – neither between Area ‘H’ and Princeton, nor between individual users. This obviously warrants looking into.

There was also a lively discussion about Trans Canada Trail usage and recent events. Bill Allinott, Faye and Ken Davidson, the Sternes, and Brad Hope, had much to report on this subject. It appears that there are a lot of complications, as well as diverse points of view. Almost everyone has a stake in this so we can expect to see the subject on future agendas.

The meeting ended with refreshments and friendly discussion. Michelle, who runs the Coalmont Hotel, was very kind to provide the use of the facility and the evening was indeed a great success.

For detailed information, such as minutes and mission statement, there is a web site. It is hoped that www.coalmont.net/cca will become a handy place to keep in touch with CCA events and notices. However, for those without internet who would like paper notices, the Sternes have donated a metal mail box which is located by the town bulletin board.

The next meeting will be on April 17 and anybody would owns property, lives here, or would otherwise call themselves a Coalmontian, is welcome to attend. §

Miracle on Main Street

On December 30, 2011 my husband Bob’s, heart stopped while he was shovelling snow in Coalmont. As I was phoning 9-1-1, our neighbour Maurice rushed to the scene with his two adult sons, Mike and Shane. They immediately began CPR. I heard them say there was no pulse or breathing and grabbed our home defibrillator. We had purchased the defibrillator when we first moved to Coalmont because I was always worried about how long it would take an ambulance to reach us if one was needed in a heart emergency (even though neither of us had a previous history of heart problems). I pulled out the pads and froze as one of Maurice’s sons took them from me and placed them on Bob. The defibrillator immediately took over and began evaluating the situation and “talking” to us. A shock was needed, so I pushed the button on the machine as instructed. Mike performed mouth-to-mouth and Shane administered compressions as indicated by the defibrillator. A second shock was needed and upon administering this shock, Bob breathed and a pulse was detected by Shane. Jodi (of the Tulameen Volunteer Fire Department) came to administer oxygen just before the ambulance arrived.

The roads were treacherous that day and it took the ambulance 45 minutes to arrive. Without the intervention of Maurice, Shane and Mike, and the use of the home defibrillator, Bob would be dead. Saying “thank you” seems a pretty insignificant way to truly thank the heroes who saved his life. While Bob was being loaded into the ambulance, other neighbours stepped in to help. Ray took the keys to our motel and said he’d get our guests checked in for me and look after things until I got back. Michelle of the Coalmont Hotel took our puppy and cared for her while I was in Penticton with Bob. Jan gave me comfort, wrote down phone numbers I would need, and helped me gather what I needed for my trip to Penticton. Shane (a man who I had never met before and who had just saved Bob’s life) drove me all the way to Penticton hospital so I could be with Bob. Maurice phoned my children to tell them what was happening. It seemed the locals of Coalmont became one united front to help us in our darkest time. You hear so many stories about incidents in big cities where people in need are just passed by. Not in Coalmont. When help is needed, the locals jump right in. Shane, Mike and Maurice are truly heroes who brought my husband back to life and have given us a second chance. The rest of the neighbours who helped are my Coalmont angels. Bob and I want to thank you all for being there for us.

Normally in a situation such as this, the patient suffers sudden death. The quick actions of Maurice, Shane and Mike meant that Bob not only lived, but he didn’t suffer any brain damage. The doctors are amazed because this just doesn’t happen. Our defibrillator has made the rounds of numerous hospitals because the medical personnel wanted to see the miracle machine. Home defibrillators can be purchased online from Philips. They are expensive, but with an outcome like this I would spend that money over and over again if it was needed. I would highly recommend this life-saving machine to everyone who lives any distance from emergency response. Minutes count in a heart emergency! A ten minute delay is usually fatal. Bob came home after the doctors implanted a pacemaker/defibrillator in his chest. After numerous tests, they said he actually has a perfectly healthy heart, but for some reason on December 30, the wiring in his heart short-circuited. The implant will prevent this from happening again and Bob can continue living a normal life. To our heroes – Mike, Shane and Maurice; to our numerous neighbours for their help and prayers; to the ambulance attendants, hospital doctors and nurses who got Bob stabilized; and to God for orchestrating this entire rescue I send you my deepest and most sincere thanks. We will NEVER forget you and we will never be able to thank you enough.

Regards,

Diane and Bob Sterne

A Community Association

Coalmont has had several attempts at a community organization in the past, but there is none now. Lately there has been talk of setting up a ratepayers association so that we can speak with one voice when needed or wanted. A meeting was called and, although an official name has yet to be chosen, the results were very encouraging.

Following is a report on the proceedings at the inaugural meeting 7pm November 22, 2011 Coalmont Hotel. Chris Goodfellow chaired the meeting and our Area ‘H’ director, Brad Hope was on hand. There were 26 people present.
Continue reading A Community Association

Talk of Septage

There has been a lot of talk around here recently about the dumping of septage in the area.

At the core of the discussion is a facility on private land which is situated up the hill from the old Granite Creek townsite. The accusations are that the Princeton Septic Service and Keremeos Septic Services trucks are driving up there and illegally dumping sewage. On the surface, if true, these accusations are fairly serious and can have some ramifications. So, what is really going on here?

First of all, these pumper trucks are used primarily for pumping out septic tanks when maintenance is required. The material itself is properly referred to as “septage”. In an area like ours this is a required service and is stipulated by health regulations.

There are several permitted places in Area ‘H’ where septage can be disposed of. There are also strict regulations set out for this by the Ministry of Environment, and all facilities must be approved and have a permit. Closest to us is the one at Granite.
Continue reading Talk of Septage

Questions to the Candidates

On November 19 we will be voting on the position of director for Area ‘H’. Although this position carries less weight in the district than the municipal mayor, it is nevertheless our only voice. Please take the time to understand what this means for our future here and how your choice will impact our independence, taxes, and quality of life, in the future.

By now we have all seen some of the general material put out by the two candidates, Charles Weber and incumbent Brad Hope, but it was felt that some more direct answers were needed. Therefore we posed some questions so that everyone could see where they both stand on some of the concerns that relate to Coalmont and Area ‘H’ in general. Here is the e-mail which was sent and the answers we received.
Continue reading Questions to the Candidates

No Telephone Service in Coalmont

Right in the middle of a conversation I was having on the telephone yesterday afternoon, blip, the line went dead – it still is.

This is not unusual and we’re used to it. Talking with people who have been here for a long time, it becomes clear that we’ve had rotten lines for some years now. Sometimes it takes a day, but often the phones are back in a few hours. However in this case it looks like they’re going to be down all night as well.
Continue reading No Telephone Service in Coalmont

Regional Trails Master Plan

RDOS (Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen) and its member municipalities will be developing a Regional Trails Master Plan (RTMP). Various user groups will be meeting to discuss the future of trails such as the KVR corridor. The new master plan will decide how the trails will look over the next 10 years and who will be allowed to use them. You can share your ideas by completing an online survey at: www.clickhikebike.com. Scheduled meetings will be posted at: www.rdos.bc.ca. We will try to keep you posted here as well.

If you use the trails in this area, this is the time to add your input to this plan which will affect your use of the trails. §

Small Town BC – Coalmont

Coalmont from Tower Hill

Many saw the Global TV segment of Small Town BC which featured Coalmont. It was both fun and empowering to see our community on TV. That doesn’t happen very often.

You can watch the segment on-line here.

People were asked to send in pictures and forward the e-mail asking for such. The method seems to work because there were lots of pictures. There were also a few submissions from people who don’t live in town. §

Photo Bob Sterne

WE WON!

The Princeton Aquatic Centre Referendum is over. The first numbers to come from the Chief Election Officer are listed below. We are still waiting for the official announcement and until then these numbers are not set in stone. Although it is not expected that there will be any change, we will however update promptly if necessary.

Princeton
474 YES
507 NO
FAILED

Area ‘H’
269 YES
968 NO
FAILED

There are several things which can be inferred from these numbers. One is the relative lack of interest, one way or the other, shown in the Town of Princeton. Not a lot of voters showed up there. Another is the unusually large number of voters who showed up in Area ‘H’ and the large majority of NO votes there. This is not just a no – it is a NO!

Although this aquatic centre project and referendum has been described by a few people as being a two sided issue, the reality is that there has not been any controversy in our town. The bottom line is that the referendum has failed to show significant interest in funding this large project. Certainly from a Coalmont point of view – we won. §

UPDATE: The OFFICIAL results have now been confirmed and they are the same as we have above. You can see the details on the Official Referendum Results RDOS page.

COMMENTS

Coalmont Community Bulletin Board

The New Bulletin BoardThe new Coalmont Community Bulletin Board is already much used, which shows that it was something we really needed here. It was provided courtesy of the Mozey-On-Inn.

Although (as one person reports seeing) it would appear to be a problem with people from out of town, it is clear that not everybody shares the Coalmont spirit of community. Of course the board is for everyone, but regardless of where you’re from, good manners apply here. This prompted the following letter to the Coalmont Courier.

Bulletin Board Etiquette

Most have probably noticed the new Coalmont Community Bulletin Board that we placed near the mailboxes. We felt it would be a nice addition since it was becoming more and more difficult to read the notices which were being put up. Unfortunately, with the Pool Referendum around the corner, some have decided that their point of view is more important than others and have been removing notices and replacing them with those showing a different point of view.

We would remind everyone that we are a community, and as such are made up of individuals who will have different points of view. Your point of view is not more important than those of others, and you have no right to remove their notices from the board. The only time it would be appropriate to remove notices from the board is when they are obviously expired.

We hope everyone will practice bulletin board etiquette. Please show respect for your friends and neighbours and set an example for the children in our community. This is a perfect opportunity to teach our children how democracy works and that everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Your Neighbours,
Diane and Bob Sterne
The Mozey-On-Inn

Not One Community

There was an information meeting for the Princeton Aquatic Centre project 10 am this morning at the Tulameen Community Hall. Notably, there were quite a few people there from Coalmont.

Lyle Thomas led the meeting and started with a presentation. The key point of departure, as on the information sheets we were sent in the mail, was the “public process” as contained in their 1998 Master Plan. Presumably this shows support for an aquatic centre in all communities and that we are actually “one community”.

Moving on, Thomas explains “it’s easy to sell the benefits”. Indeed, it was easy to convince people there that a fancy pool would be nice, but other points about economic benefits to “the community” appeared to be met with some scepticism by those present.

As for the funding, Thomas, to his credit, did make it clear that the maximum that could be charged on the parcel tax is $361. Nevertheless, he seemed over confident that it would not go over $301. The explanation of how it would eventually go down also seemed a bit shallow as it included an expectation of the population going up – something which does not bear out well statistically. In the end, the economic feasibility still comes down to hoping for the same number of grants being available as there have been in past years, and a hope for donations. As well, the financial impact on both the RDOS and Princeton of using this much money, regardless of where it comes from, on a non-critical project was not clarified. In fact, it was carefully avoided.

When it came to asking questions at the end, it became obvious that the Princeton Aquatic Centre is quite a controversial project. There was a lot of harsh criticism as well as some good insights and suggestions from the audience. In the end, it became clear that we really are not “one community”. Certainly, judging from the people present, there is little support for such an expensive facility, particularly if we have to pay for it and it is located so far from where we live. §

Community Plan Open House

Draft Electoral Area ‘H’ Official Community Plan and Bylaw

Princeton Fringe Area
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011
Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Location: Riverside Centre
Address: 148 Old Hedley Road

Tulameen
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011
Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Location: Community Centre
Address: 2595 Otter Avenue

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), with the assistance of the Electoral Area ‘H’ Official Community Plan (OCP) Review Committee is updating the Princeton Rural OCP & Zoning Bylaws.

A Draft Plan and Zoning Bylaw have now been prepared and, in order to provide members of the public with an opportunity to learn more and provide feedback on the proposed bylaws, a number of Open Houses have been organised.

Residents are invited to drop in at their convenience during either Open House at the Riverside Centre in Princeton, or the Community Centre in Tulameen. Each Open House shall run from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm with a short presentation to be held at 5:30 pm.

The OCP will help direct the future of communities found within the plan area such as Allison Lake, Coalmont, Eastgate, Missezula Lake, Tulameen, and the Princeton Fringe area. §

Princeton Aquatic Centre Voting

There will be a public vote on whether or not property owners in Area H want to borrow $6 million dollars which will be put towards building a $9 million dollar aquatic centre in the Town of Princeton. This will result in a property tax increase of up to $360.79 per parcel. The source of the remaining $3 million dollars is not yet determined but will likely also impact the finances of the area.

It is important that Coalmontians get out to vote for this as failure to do so could have serious consequences. Your vote counts! Here is what you need to know: Continue reading Princeton Aquatic Centre Voting

Petition Changes Referendum Voting

Area H will now be able to vote independently of Princeton in the upcoming referendum.

As you will recall, our votes were to be lumped in with those of Princeton and even if we all voted no and they all voted yes, we would get to borrow 6 million dollars to put towards building an aquatic centre for them. Whether the project would be a success or not, we would still be on the hook for 6 million and a huge increase in our taxes. It appeared as if most people in Area H were in favour of an aquatic centre but saw red when they heard about the financing and lopsided voting scheme.

The result was a petition circulated the week before yesterday’s (August 4) RDOS board meeting. The petition stated simply that the undersigned wished to have their votes counted separately from those of the Town of Princeton. The response was overwhelming and 833 signatures were collected in the various Area H communities. Apparently it was a wakeup call for the Referendum Committee and elicited a particularly strong response from Randy McLean, the mayor of the Town of Princeton.

Brad Hope, our regional representative, who presented the signatures to the board, informs us that there are still late responses coming in and that he is up to almost 900. He also tells us that the Referendum Committee and Town of Princeton intend to go ahead with the referendum and that Area H will work with them in that endeavour.

On behalf of the Princeton & District Aquatic Centre Referendum Committee, a letter has subsequently been sent out with updated information by Nadine McEwen, Princeton Community Recreation & Cultural Coordinator Riverside Centre. You can read the letter in full on the Outram Echo.

Coalmont residents, along with the other communities, will be able to vote on September 24. The actual questions on the referendum will be announced at a later date. §

Community Party Success

Coalmont was buzzing on Saturday. The big tent was set up on the corner of Parrish and Columbia. The BBQ was manned by Terry and Bruce who, with help from Marianne Slaeger and others, pumped out the hamburgers until they ran out in the afternoon. The smell must have wafted all the way to Princeton, because there were a lot of visitors. In fact Terry Malanchuck, who keeps track of these things for the Blakeburn reunions and can recognize where most locals come from, says he counted over 200 coming through, and believes there were almost 300. Others say around 150 but either way, for our little town, that is extraordinary!

Dinner under the tent

It is rare to see that many people all together in this community. In fact, there probably hasn’t been as many gathered here since the 30s! The Coalmont centennial was indeed well marked. All this was possible thanks to Coalmont Energy Corporation who sponsored the event. Steve Dimond from CEC was on hand and in addition to giving a dinner speech about how this sponsorship came about, provided music with his portable sound system.

Getting served

Many people in Coalmont put in a good effort here, but the star was definitely Lillian Young who organizes the annual Blakeburn Reunion and pulled together our Centennial Dinner with skill and grace. Lillian was born in Coalmont and grew up here in the 20’s and 30s. She has a lot of history here and can even remember MacTavish, the General Store proprietor, pulling the kids’ sleighs around with his new motor car – yes, times have changed.

Evelyn McCallumEdith RiceAs well as curious visitors and newcomers, there were quite a few old-timers such as Evelyn McCallum (left) and Edith Rice, pictured below. Evelyn is one of our local historians for the Princeton area and was recently awarded the first honorary life membership of the Princeton and District Museum and Archives. Edith we all know here. She has a long history in this area, including coming to Coalmont in the 40s and working the Roany Creek Ranch. There were many others from the old days, too numerous to mention, but it was fantastic to have them all here.

One of the features of the party was a display of historical pictures supplied by Bob and Diane of the Mozey-On-Inn. These proved to be very popular and they occupied many people’s interest. Terry Malanchuck spent a lot of time answering questions about them. At the end Bob came and announced that anyone could take one of the photos home, which made quite a few people very happy. The New Coalmont Courier also provided a little commemorative history flyer with a picture of the tipple on the front for people to take home and save as a memento. To complete the memorabilia, there were buttons and T-shirts available at the Coalmont Kiosk which had it’s grand opening this same day.
The history picture board In the early evening the party slowed down as people went home, or continued on to the dance in Tulameen. The clean-up was quickly accomplished by enthusiastic volunteers such as Bob Reid, and in fact the whole affair really was a community effort. This was certainly a day to remember. §