In attendance: Mayor Caisley, Councillors White, Hunter, Colledge and Holmlund. Councillor Hunter chaired the meeting.
Official Meeting Minutes can be obtained from Town Hall.
1.Call to Order: 5:10 pm
2.Approval of Minutes from Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting of December 11, 2007.
3.Business Arising from Minutes:
Councillor Colledge was curious if a letter from Corporal Peats had been received regarding support for extra funding. Councillor Colledge was advised there has been no such letter received up to now.
In a previous council meeting, there was a decision to invite the Oil and Gas Commission. Kim Isaak advised Councillor White that the Oil and Gas Commission has sent an email response and it is quite possible they will be in attendance at the next Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting on January 29, 2008.
4. Review of Agenda:
Amendments: Item 11- FCM, Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Item 12- Board of Variance.
Item 13. Adjourn.
5.Northern Lights College,
Re: Workforce Training and Continuing Education-absent due to illness.
6.Tumbler Ridge Library,
Re: Grant Application
Bob Norman, Chairperson of the library board, and Michele Burton, Library Manager, visited council to answer questions and to give a rationale for the grant in aid application.
The most substantial grant in aid goes to the Library. For 2008, the Tumbler Ridge Library is asking for $252,157.00 This is the same amount that was given to the Library in 2007.
Bob Norman explained the funding is required in order to keep the library functioning. Mr. Norman explained the board is pleased they were able to hold on to the same budget as last year, by shifting numbers around. ?We may have to scrimp and save? in 2008, said Norman.
This past year the Library board was lucky to have a treasurer who was a certified accountant but they are now looking for someone who can fill that position once again.
Two areas that will be addressed in the upcoming year at the library are salaries of employees, which are still markedly low, and the furniture on the children?s section of the library. A salary survey has been done with towns in BC with a population within 2000 and 7000 people. In the north, salaries seem to be significantly lower, explained Michele Burton.
The Library board is hoping to develop a salary grid in 2008, either through the help of the BC library Association or through a private company.
With the new monitoring system, ?How do you find it working??
Burton commented the library will provide numbers to Council when the inventory is complete.
Burton also explained the public perception of the monitoring system has been a mixed one, but ?most people are happy to see it?. Mr. Norman is confident the system will ?pay for itself over the next few years?.
?What is your long term plan??
Mr. Norman explained there was someone hired to work on a five year plan for the library but due to circumstances beyond their control, it has not been completed as of yet.
?How many people have come through the doors??
Burton explained the counter was broken for about four months so they do not have accurate numbers, however, the volume of books have increased and there has been a slight increase in circulation.
Stating he can wait for an answer, he would like to know how much it costs to run a municipal library. Councillor White feels the board is saving the Town of Tumbler Ridge a lot of money by running it.
?What had a huge increase this past year??
Burton commented the children?s programming attendance is three times higher than the previous year and there has been requests for children?s programming in the evenings.
In conclusion of their visit to council, Mr. Miller advised Mr. Norman and Ms. Burton under section 40 of the library act, the library board must prepare annual financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles(GAAP) and provide a copy of these financial statements to the district.
Trevor Seibel, Chief Financial Officer, explained this should be investigated further by the library board and to his knowledge, ?there is no one qualified to do this in town(Tumbler Ridge).?
7. Snowmobile Enforcement
Chief Dan Golob forwarded a written report to Mayor and Council explaining current Snowmobile enforcement in Tumbler Ridge. There have been 5 formal complaints this year however, complaints are usually ?after the fact and not at the time if the incident?.
The Bylaw Officer is monitoring snowmobile concerns on a daily basis and has spoken to approximately 40 snowmobile users about the permitted trails and the restricted areas in the community. When spoken to, the users receive a current ATV map and the designated trails as well as a copy of the bylaw in place.
The bylaw officers have been proactive this season, according to this report, tracking Snowmobile users back to their homes to speak to them about permitted trails. Four written warnings have been given to new residents however, no fines have been issued to date as there is an emphasis on educating the riders and informing them that any infraction in the future will result in fines or impoundments.
The bylaw officer has not witnessed any snowmobile users on the golf course during patrols. There are signs stating the restrictions, but violators ignore the signs.
Report received for information.
Mayor Caisley: Commented the educational ?approach is a good one? and the report is self-explanatory.
Councillor White: ? According to the ICBC website, all snowmobiles need to be licensed.? Councillor White asks: ?Do you ask them if they have a license?? Chief Golob explained that Alberta residents that come and snowmobile in the area usually have a license for the snowmobile, but those from BC do not.
Councillor White would like the bylaw officers to follow up on this information.
Note: at the following link, you can get all rules and regulations with regards to snowmobiles.
Every snowmobile must be registered, regardless of what it is used for. However, it is only necessary to license and insure your snowmobile if 1. the snowmobile will be crossing a road that the public has access to drive on or 2. if it is used in a parking lot.
8. B.C. Rail Caboose
The BC Rail Caboose is being leased by a local business and this current lease expires February 1, 2008. The business owner is not interested in renewing the lease. The lease fee is $153.00/month and the tenant must provide their own liability insurance and pay all utility costs according to District policy.
Mr. Lonnie Miller commented the only problem and or difficulty with the space is the lack of washroom facilities and that it is small.
Councillor Colledge asked if any one has shown interest in the space. Kim Isaak, Corporate Officer/Deputy CAO, explained there had been on interested person to date.
Councillor Holmlund stated the caboose seems out of place, along with the large bucket in the parking lot. If there were to be future upgrades to the visitor centre, the caboose limits what can be done because of the space it takes up, stated Holmlund. Holmlund thinks there needs to be a long term plan for the caboose which may include moving it to another place.
Options for the space will remain open.
9. Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities(FCM) Conference is in Quebec City this year, from May 30-June 2 2008.
Mr. Miller would like to know which Councillors would like to go and if the Mayor would like to go.
Councillor Holmlund stated the conference last year that was held in Calgary was very good but feels whoever goes to the conference should be running in the election this year.
It costs approximately $3011 per council member to attend. This will be placed on the next regular meeting of council to approve budget for 2 people to attend.
10. Council Invitation, Re: Remembering to Play
A workshop, ?Remembering to Play: Building Creative and Engaging Work Environments?, led by Vince Gowman, will be held January 17 and 18th. The purpose of the workshops are to try and ?make a better workplace?, explained Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller extended an invite for Mayor and Council to attend the workshop on either day.
11. Federation of Canadian Municipalities(FCM)-Sustainability Conference.
The FCM?s Sustainability conference will be held in Ottawa, Feb 14-16th, 2008.
12. Board of Variance
The Board of Variance, or lack there of within Tumbler Ridge, will be discussed at the next regular Meeting of Council.