Committee of the Whole

Official minutes can be obtained from the District website or at Town Hall.

In attendance: Mayor Iles, Councillors Kirby, Way, McPherson, Steele, Colledge and Younge

1.Call to Order

2.Minutes approved for the Regular Meeting of Council of September 28, 2004.

3. Business arising from the Minutes: Councillor Colledge clarified that the Christmas Party date is now December 10 and the food hamper drive will now be on December 11th.

4.Review of the Agenda

5.Greg and Evan Saugstad from Canfor were at Committee of the Whole to discuss with Council potential forestry opportunities. Harry Prosser began the discussion by asking the Saugstad brothers about community forest tenures and where Tumbler Ridge should begin. Evan Saugstad responded that as far as he knows the tenures haven?t come up yet, but there will probably only be two or three small tenures available. Council needs to ask themselves ?What do we want to manage this tenure for? Do we want to have a community forest for economic reasons, diversifying the economy or social reasons?? Profits will not be great on a small tenure. What the government is looking for is that the communities who are awarded community forests are committed to harvesting the trees. Mayor Iles brought up the subject of log homes. Saugstad responded that the wood suitable for log home building is not close to town and access is difficult. Councillor Kirby asked about the relationship that the town has with the McLeod Lake Indian band and how they will be involved in this process. EDO Proulx commented that this is something separate from the McLeod Lake relationship but it would be good to let the band know what Tumbler Ridge is planning to do with a community forest. Greg Saugstad said that there are many things that can be done with a community forest. It is a great tool for education and awareness if you get the community involved. Evan Saugstad gave a brief pine beetle update saying that from Canfor?s perspective the number of new trees affected by the beetle decreased from last year due to the ?20 temperatures that occurred right after Easter, when temperatures dropped from +20 to ?20 very quickly. The beetles will probably hold their own this year although Canfor is not expecting huge increases. The beetles are very scattered right now and focus needs to be placed on areas where the beetle population is thriving. Greg Saugstad added, ?If there is any way we can help make this work for you, just call us. We think this is a really good thing.? Mayor Iles thanked the Saugstads for taking time to talk to Council.

6.EDO Proulx presented a report on the first steps towards pursuing the acquisition of a community forest license in our area. Proulx would like to see an organization created to pursue, acquire and manage the community forest license. He asked Council to decide which members of Council would be designated to represent the District on this organization and to give him names of all of the individuals and organizations that would bring knowledge, resources and dedicated effort to this project. He would like to see a committee of seven to nine people. Proulx also asked that Council provide direction for him to seek out the services of a professional forester with knowledge and practical experience in the field of developing community forests. Councillors Kirby and McPherson will be on this committee.

7.Tourism and Resource Development Symposium. EDO Proulx is looking for Council?s support for an initiative being brought forward by the Economic Development Department. The District of Tumbler Ridge has been working hard for many years to seek accountability and achieve a final solution to fixing the road to Kinuseo Falls. Since there are so many users of the road and overlapping jurisdictions governing it, no one wants to take full responsibility for upgrading the road. After gaining support for the idea of a symposium from Bill Oppen, Regional Project Manager for Small Business and Economic Development for Northeastern BC, Proulx is proposing to host a day long symposium in Tumbler Ridge to discuss the subject of how the industries of tourism and resource development can work hand in hand to achieve mutual goals. Projected date will be the end of November or beginning of December. Council agreed that this is a good idea.

8.The Museum Society has requested the use of District Space. The TRMF requires office space to house two employment positions as part of a Job Creation Partnership program through HRSDC and has expressed interest in utilizing the Visitor Information building, which closed for the season on September 10th. In exchange for the use of the office space, TRMF has agreed to keep the building doors open and continue visitor information services through the winter. TRMF would like to sign a lease for this space and office space in the old Iceman hockey office. The Museum?s purpose is to promote the Museum in the interest of community benefit and they are open to sharing this space with other organizations. Mayor Iles would like to see things left as they are. Nigel Black explained that the lease would protect the interests of both parties. Mayor Iles expressed concerns. This will be discussed at a later date.

9.Joint Emergency Preparedness Program funding is available for the District to apply for. Emergency Coordinator (EC), Jerrilyn Schembri asked that Council review the report and decide whether they would support the application. The Tumbler Ridge Emergency Planning Committee would like to apply for the JEPP funding to cover some of the cost of setting up a fully functioning Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). An EOC is used to manage a disaster response and would be based on the British Columbia Emergency Response Management System (BCERMS). Council agreed that this would be a positive step in preparing the District to mitigate, respond and recover from disaster/emergency events.

10.Emergency Coordinator Jerrilyn Schembri asked that Council support setting up Mutual Aid Agreements. Mutual Aid Agreements ensure that local and regional groups are able to work together to cope with local emergencies and will become part of the Tumbler Ridge Emergency Plan. Council was given an example of a Mutual Aid agreement to look at. Schembri has been in communication with the Peace River Regional District to discuss Mutual Aid agreements. Council agreed that Mutual Aid Agreements should be put in place with other communities, the Regional District and industry.

11. Councillor Kirby gave a verbal report on the difficulty Dean Johnson is facing with finding a place to park his trucks. Johnson is in the process of starting a trucking company. Johnson commented that the lots that Council is developing are much more than he would need. He doesn?t need the paving, curbs, etc, he just requires a place to park trucks where he can plug them in. Johnson is currently looking at one possible location, but if that doesn?t pan out he will need someplace else. Mayor and Council will see what they can do to help.

12.a) Councillor Colledge brought up the District?s policy on shutting off water. Nigel Black said that the District is allowed to shut off someone?s water but have never done it. An issue arose with a unit in Steeprock. Councillor Way asked that it be made clear that Council doesn?t endorse the shutting off of water.