Council Highlights

In attendance: Mayor Caisley, Councillors White, Hunter, Colledge and Kirby.

Councillor Hunter chaired meeting.

Official Meeting Minutes can be obtained from Town Hall.

1.Call to Order: 6:00 pm

2.Approval of Minutes from Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting of November 27, 2007.

3.Business Arising from Minutes: None

4.Review of Agenda: Amended

Addition to agenda: Item 12-Snowmobiles: Councilor White.

Item 13- No-go zones: Councilor White. Item 14- Councilor Colledge. Item 15- Adjourn.

5.City of Dawson Creek, Kevin Henderson, Rod Harmon and Dan Dobson. Re: Bear Hole Lake

Dan Dobson, who works with Dawson Creek?s engineering and watershed, visited Mayor and Council to update them on the Proposed Weir Site (a small dam) at the bottom of Bear Hole Lake.

Dawson Creek has had a water license for storage on Bear Hole Lake since 1994. The purpose of the weir, is to store water and to provide a supplemental supply of water to Dawson Creek in the event of a drought and/or supplement low river flows in the late fall at the intake due to freezing. The water is intended ONLY for emergency.

The proposed construction is for 2008 and should take about two days to construct as it is a small structure. Dobson explained the beaver dams are larger than the proposed weir.

Dobson also advised Mayor and Council there would be ?no flooding? as the increase in the water would be contained within the existing lake. Fish will still be able to pass over the weir or through the fish way.

The environmental impact would be minimal, explained Dobson. Access to Little Bear Hole Lake would require portaging around the weir, after construction.

Questions from Mayor and Council:

Councillor White: ?Is it going to be 30 inches above the high water height??

Dobson: ?Yes, the additional storage would be above the high water point.?

6. Ministry of Transportation, Richard Prill: South Peace Operations Manager.

Richard Prill, who is based out of Dawson Creek and works for the Ministry of Transportation, visited Council to give them an overview of how winter maintenance of the roads are handled.

Prill explained the priorities of the Ministry of Transportation are one ? protection of public safety and two ? protection of the roads and bridges.

The government awards contracts for terms of 10 years. Routine Activities (required) done by the contractor are plowing, sanding, salting, bridge and railing repair, sign cleaning and railway maintenance.

Roads are divided into classes. There are 7 summer classes and 5 winter classes. Highest classification warrants the highest service levels. The highways leaving Tumbler Ridge are class B, which means they are not the highest priority in the winter.

The contractors work within an end product approach and there is a maximum snow accumulation for snow removal. Therefore, once the snow hits a certain level, plows must be out clearing roadways.

Prill emphasized the Ministry?s emphasis on being proactive.

Contractors are responsible for updating DRIVE BC.

Prill explained to Mayor and Council that all contractors are audited locally and regionally (twice per year). Contractors are encouraged to exceed minimum requirements as outstanding contractors can receive up to a 2% bonus at the end of their contract.

The contractor responsible for Tumbler Ridge is Caribou Road Services (CRS).

Questions:

Councilor White: ?How long has the government used contractors??

Prill: ?Since 1988?

Councilor White: ?Do the contractors put up the road barriers??

Prill: ? Yes, but there is a criteria for putting up roadside barriers.?

Councilor White: ? Will you be paving Boundary Road??

Prill: ?The plan is to bite off a chunk every year until it is done?.

Councilor Colledge: ?Is the same contractor for the entire highway (HW 52) ? There seems to be an obvious separation when you drive to Dawson.

Prill: ?The different foremen in charge will determine the priorities of roads within their area?.

7.RCMP Corporal Kurt Peats: Policing Update.

Corporal Peats arrived at Council fashionably late to give a quick update.

Constable Jenkins has been promoted and has moved to Quesnel. A new recruit will be arriving early next week. She is fresh out of training and therefore will need to ride in a car with another officer for 6 months.

Peats explained there is a new reporting system called PRIME and this new government Records Management System is extremely in depth and is keeping everyone busy at the detachment.

In 2006, the major issues within Tumbler were traffic violations, ATVs, and drinking at the skate park. One year later, Peats explained there is a very big change in concern. The major crime concerns in 2007 are high drug use, a 150% increase in DUIs and finally, high incidence of violence against women with significant injuries.

Drug use is becoming a major concern at the mine sites. Corporal Peats explained there was an attempt at three undercover operations here in Tumbler Ridge. When funding was approved each time, there was a murder in Dawson Creek and the funding was sent there for the investigations.

Questions/Comments:

Councilor White: ? How can we help??

Peats explained a letter to government expressing concern for Tumbler Ridge and the need for more police officers would be a big help to push for more funding.

Councilor Hunter: ?How is the vandalism in Tumbler Ridge??

Peats: There have been 4 or 5 recent Break and Enters (B&E?s) that were deliberate. There were doors kicked in and certain items stolen. No suspects have be apprehended to date.

Mayor Caisley: ?It bothers me? that there isn?t enough money to adequately patrol the area of Tumbler Ridge.

Peats explained there are three levels of funding and Tumbler Ridge is solely dependent on provincial funding when it comes to our detachment.

Councilor Colledge commented there is a high impact on agencies, in terms of victim services, in town and there is very low funding. With the high increase of violence against women, the strain is even higher.

Corporal Peats said the Oil and Gas companies have been very supportive by funding trips to Dawson Creek to move women into a safe environment.

8.Land Disposition Strategy (LDS).

Ray Proulx, Economic Development Officer, answered some questions within his report dated December 4th, which clarified some concerns Mayor and Council had at the last P& P meeting November 27th.

Proulx explained the Land Disposition Strategy will be a guiding document and it will help ?reinforce our permanency?. Because it is a guiding document, there will be some flexibility.

Proulx also gave Mayor and Council the option to change one statement. The original statement said:

? The District will not make available the upper and middle benches of land until opportunities at the golf course are fully explored.?

The revised statement will say:

? The District will not encourage new residential development in the upper and middle benches of land until the opportunities at the golf course are fully explored.?

The revision of the statement answered concerns of Mayor and Council. The

LDS will be sent to the next regular meeting of council for adoption.

9.No Smoking Bylaw

As explained in the memo written by Debbie Bachmeier, Deputy Director of Community Services, the proposed smoking bylaw would include: no smoking within 10 metres of any entrance of a District owned facility, no smoking on any recreation or leisure grounds owned and operated by the District and no smoking in any District vehicle. The bylaw would also include that there be no smoking within 10 metres of the health unit and absolutely no smoking on school property.

Comments/Questions:

Mayor Caisley: ?If you are going to have a bylaw, be prepared to do the enforcing.?

Mr. Lonnie Miller explained there is still some research being done and he acknowledges that 10 meters would mean there would be no smoking allowed at all within the downtown core.

Councilor Colledge: ?Perhaps a designated smoking area would be better?.

Councilor Hunter: I ?would rather have a smoking area?.

Councilor Kirby: ?I don?t like it?. ?We have cars idling closer than that?.

Councilor White: ? I would support no smoking in the downtown core.?

10.2008 Volunteer Appreciation

Debbie Bachmeier spoke to council on the 2008 Volunteer Appreciation BBQ. The plan is to hold it in the arena on June 14th, during the hours of noon and 4pm. Volunteers will be recognized with a small gift of appreciation. There will be a BBQ and there will be entertainment by a local band or bands.

Mayor and Council felt this is a great idea and the proposed budget was approved and will be included in the budget for 2008. Therefore, there will be no need to address this at a regular meeting of council.

11.2008 Budget Time line

Trevor Seibel, Chief Financial Officer, provided Mayor and Council a schedule of dates for the 2008 budget process.

The schedule was approved.

12.Snowmobiles

Councilor White brought forth the never ending battle of snowmobiles within the town and the damage they are doing (for example, ripping up the golf course greens and driving range). Snowmobiles are also wrecking the ski trails and it makes it difficult to plan for upcoming events like the dog sledding event in February. The large signs that advised snowmobiles they were not welcome in certain areas have been stolen. Councilor White stated, ?I would like to see snowmobiles banned from Tumbler Ridge?.

Even though there are signs that say ?NO ATVs?, people are not obeying the signs.

Councilor Kirby said he was embarrassed to be a snowmobile user with the constant damage being done around town.

Councilor Colledge explained how on the Mayor?s Food Drive, they had to go into a snow bank to avoid the snowmobile.

13.No-Go Zones

Councilor White stated the recent fire 30 km northeast of Tumbler Ridge at a ConocoPhillips drill site, is a good example of what could happen to Tumbler Ridge if drilling is close to the town. Councilor White would like to have the BC Oil and Gas commission come to Council to discuss NO-GO Zones and to give Council more information on rules and regulations. An invitation to attend the next Policies and Priorities Meeting will be sent.

14.Correspondence/Portfolios

Mayor Caisley confirmed that Portfolios will commence in the New Year. Councilors will be given a current list of all portfolios, however, there may be some additions or deletions. There is no guarantee Councilors will be given the same portfolios.

15.Adjourn: 7:59pm