Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting: October 23th, 2007
In attendance: Mayor Caisley, Councilors White, Kirby, Hunter, Holmlund and Sipe. Councilor 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 October 9, 2007.
3. Business Arising from Minutes: none
4. Review of Agenda: Amended
Item 11 to be changed to : Councilor Sipe: Resignation
Adjournment will now be item 12.
5. New Life Assembly. Grant for Food Distribution Program.
Pastor George Rowe, with the New Life Assembly, met with council to request a grant of $1500.00 to help with startup costs for their Food Distribution Program. The New Life Assembly has met with the Tumbler Ridge Ministerial Association and has advised the association they are willing to facilitate this year?s Christmas Hamper program and an emergency food service, which will begin January 1, 2008. Although it will be facilitated by the New Life Assembly, it will still fall under the umbrella of the Tumbler Ridge Ministerial Association. The food distribution centre will be able to provide people in need with canned and/or boxed goods.
The $1500.00 will help refurbish the room in the New Life Assembly?s church basement (including electrical work, painting, shelving and a small freezer purchase) where the distribution centre will be located.
Mayor and Council were pleased to hear about this initiative which will further meet the needs of Tumbler Ridge residents. This request will be formalized at the next regular meeting of council.
6. George Hartford. Proposal to Develop Seniors? Accommodations
Lion George Hartford, along with Lion President Frank Walsh and two other Lions, addressed council on the need for assisted living accommodations located here in Tumbler Ridge.
As of now, there is no access to assisted living for senior?s here. Many seniors who moved here for retirement, based on the cheap housing market(2000/2001) have since grown older and are rethinking their medical needs. Many must make the decision to leave Tumbler Ridge to seek residency in a town that will suit their needs(medically, accessibility, age-friendly)
The Lion?s Club of Tumbler Ridge is currently exploring the possibility of opening an assisted living facility in Tumbler Ridge.
Mayor Caisley responded to Mr. Hartford by explaining he had recently talked to both Dave Price and Dr. Charles Helm with regards to the community?s health care needs. Mayor Caisley is hoping to develop a committee to outline and address the needs of the aging community. He would like to ?formally address the needs, come up with a solid plan and then work towards it?. Mayor Caisley acknowledged there is a need for Council to focus on this issue.
Mr. Hartford would like Mayor Council and the community to know that this is an exploratory project and the Lion?s Club is willing to work towards obtaining this facility for the residents.
7. Community Forest Probationary License(CFPL) Application-Update:
A request has been made to Northern Interior Forest Region for another extension for the submission of Tumbler Ridge?s application. This request has been granted(120 days).
The District is in the process of drafting up a contract with Industrial Forest Services (IFS), from Prince George, to complete the application process. The goal to submit to the Ministry of Forests is January/February 2008.
Active harvesting(pending approval of the application) is set to take place in the winter of 2008/09.
As reported by Ray Proulx, Economic Development Officer, ?the setbacks in the application process may in fact work to our benefit. The timber market has suffered from the pine beetle and with the forecast of the market, we are sure to do better in the year 2009. If we were operating today, we would not be doing well.?
8. Governance Model Review and Next Steps
The remaining four recommendations were discussed. The recommendation for Council to only play a representation/liaison role at committee meetings was welcomed. The consensus: no more committees. There is no need for an agenda committee as it is working just fine as is. The recommendation for councilors to be paired for a time period(6 months)so that each partner can review his/her peer?s role performance is not something Mayor and Council feel is a necessity at this time. Mayor Caisley feels the concept of a Council Peer Review System is a good one, but it is not a high priority issue.
9.Logan Lake Twinning:
Mayor and Council met with Logan Lake at the Union of BC Municipalities Conference(UBCM) to discuss the possibility of twinning. The meeting outlined the necessary steps in order to move forward with this process. Logan Lake is very excited to twin with Tumbler Ridge.
Mayor and Council on the other hand, do not feel this is a priority at this time. Councilor Kirby stated ? the priority of this issue for me is zero. I don?t want to hear about it again? and we ?don?t need to waste time in twinning?.
10.Financial Reporting to September 30, 2007.
The Golf Course has been turned back to the District. There will soon be a report on the long and short term options for the Golf Course.
The largest project under Recreation Services(Arena Ice Plant) is awaiting the outcome of the grant funding application. This project cannot and will not commence until the funding has been determined.
Higher than expected interest rates have generated a greater return on the District?s investments.
11.Councilor Sipe: Resignation
Councilor Sipe formally announced his intentions to resign. He is in the process of moving to a new community in Saskatchewan. He is currently making the necessary arrangements for his final departure.
He has offered Mayor and Council the opportunity to express a preferential resignation date based on Mayor and Council?s level of desire for a by-election. Councilor Sipe was intending to resign as of December 31st, 2007. After discussions with Lonnie Miller, Chief Administrative Officer(CAO), he was informed if the date was set for December 31st, Mayor and Council MUST have a by-election. If dated after January 1st, 2008 then Mayor and Council can choose whether they want a by-election or not. The cost of a by-election would be around $6000.
Mayor and Council feel it is not their decision to be made. Councilor Sipe must and will make the decision based on his own needs.