1. The meeting was called to order at 1PM.
2. Minutes Approved for the Committee of the Whole Meeting of December 9, 2003
3.Business Arising From the Minutes:
Tourism Advisory Commission Minutes: Councillor Younge commented that there had been five applications for the three available positions. Younge reported that in the past Council has requested that a member from Wolverine Nordic Mountain Society be on the TAC committee, therefore Young would like Council to review the applications because she would like to see WNMS represented on TAC.
5.Review of Agenda ? Additions: CMHC/Councillor McPherson, and Road Maintenance/Councillor Way.
6.Ben Kostamo of TR Youth Services Society made a presentation to advise Council of the 40 Developmental Assets project, offered to Tumbler Ridge youth from January to June. The program will be dealing with support, empowerment, boundaries, expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning and positive values. Kostamo asked Council for their support by endorsing the program, and for a grant to cover some of the costs incurred. A proposed budget was attached. Kostamo also asked if Mayor and Council would consider being involved with some of the youth events. This program was run in Hudson?s Hope with positive results. Mayor Iles told Kostamo that the grant application will be considered as it is certainly a worthwhile cause.
7.Ministry of Forests- presentation by Rod Kronlochner and Al Rodine regarding the Salvage of dead standing timber. Mayor Iles welcomed Kronlochner and Rodine to the COW (Committee of the Whole) meeting and introduced the subject of salvage wood by saying that Tumbler Ridge has had two meetings that have brought together local individuals who are working in the forest industry or have interest in forestry and there is concern with the inability of local individuals to access salvage wood. EDO Proulx commented that we are looking at the timber that is out there and local individuals are hoping to access the wood that is being burned in slash piles. Tumbler Ridge resident Dan Gale commented that he has seen these big companies burn loads of salvage wood rather than see it used. Rod Kronlochner explained that there is a problem with issuing more than one tenure authorization per cut block because of liability issues, although this doesn?t stop the tenure holder from allowing someone to come in and salvage the wood. This, however, can cause the tenure holder more trouble than he feels it?s worth as he stands to gain nothing. The tenure holder is responsible for things such as road deactivation, so to have a wood salvage group or individual in could interfere with these processes. Much of the wood that is left is considered ?coarse debris? and this wood provides biological benefits as habitat for animals, etc. If too much of the salvage wood was cleaned up his office would hear from biological groups. There are two types of wood for utilization, ?Obligatory wood?, which the logging companies must use and ?optional wood? which companies have the choice to take or leave. Kronlochner added that Pat Bell is probably the best mechanism Tumbler Ridge has to have their voice heard as he is heading the Small Scale Salvage committee. Councillor Steele asked ?rather than burning the salvage wood, can?t the companies move it out and make it accessible?? Kronlochner replied that it is a cost issue and there needs to be an enticement for the logging companies to do this such as lower stumpage rates but the district authority isn?t the place to have these policies changed, it has to be at an upper government level. Mr. Gale asked, ?who keeps an eye on what is being burned?? Kronlochner explained that when operations are complete, the Forestry office gets a call to do a waste/residue assessment. If something doesn?t meet regulations, a fine is given. There are now Small Tenure Initiatives that make tenures available to communities, but because of government cutbacks (41% in the forestry industry) the workload has increased substantially and the large-scale operators are dealt with first. Mayor Iles asked about tenures to clear land for large operations, ie/Western Canadian Coal or Oil and Gas. Kronlochner replied that the company is usually given the responsibility to log the property. Rodine added that Canfor has a tree farm license and the land may fall under Canfor?s license.
8.Future C-2 Developments: Now that all Commercial Service C-2 lots have been sold, a suitable location for further C-2 development needs to be looked at. Clark Hazelhurst presented three locations which would have development possiblities . After discussion Council decided to develop block A, which is already zoned C-2, is close to utilities, is District owned and would have a low impact on traffic. Although there are only an approximate 7 lots that could be developed in this area, Council felt this block represented the best choice.
9.Future I-1 developments:
All Heavy Industrial lots have been sold and council requested that a future development area be considered. The District owns the remaining 60.5 acres behind the existing Industrial Park serviced lots, which makes this development fairly simple and straight forward. There would be two ways to tie into the existing roads and services. Each was presented and after a discussion by Mayor and Council it was decided that option 2 was the best choice because it is more cost effective.
10.Lot 127 Plan 30292:
The purpose of this was to get direction on what Council wishes to do with District owned Lot 127, Plan 30292. The two options are to #1 Dedicate this parcel as a pedestrian walkway, incurring the costs of proper development and maintenance. #2 Sell the parcel to the resident and incur no cost. After a discussion, Council tabled this item.
11.Mental Health Issues: Councillor Colledge brought up that Government has been making changes to the Mental Health program in BC. They have brought in CPIM, a central registry where therapists, counselors, and mental health workers send client information. This information is kept on a database that can be accessed by other individuals. If therapists don?t register clients, their stats go down and program funding could be cut. Mayor Iles asked why we haven?t heard about this before? Councillor Colledge commented that it is still fairly new and she would like to see Russ Webb invited to make a presentation to Mayor and Council regarding this matter.
12.Economic Development Initiatives- a) on Thursday, January 15th, there will be a Public Information Session for the community to find out more about this project. b) the Mayor and EDO will be attending the Showcase for Canadian Exports Trade Show that is coming up. c)The Labour Market Survey was in the paper, little response.
13..1 Councillor McPherson: letter received from CMHC in which CMHC states that they will approve mortgages in Tumbler Ridge on a case by case basis but they will be five year mortgages. McPherson feels that Council needs to get in touch with CMHC and talk to them about what has been happening in Tumbler Ridge to see if they will change this to a 25-year mortgage. Councillor Steele commented that Tumbler Ridge should no longer be labeled a high-risk community. We should be on the same level as Dawson Creek and Chetwynd.
13 .2 Councillor Way commented that although the highway between Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek is much better now than it was 10 years ago, with the amount of heavy traffic the road has been seeing, it will deteriorate. Mayor Iles said that this road is on the docket for pavement this summer. Councillor McPherson added that the upgrade has already begun. Councillor Steele observed that the Boundary Road is also slated for chipseal this summer.