Council Highlights Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting

Monday February 9, 2009

In Attendance: Mayor White, Councillors Mackay, Beale, Wren, McManus, McPherson and Schembri. Councillor Schembri chaired the meeting.

Official minutes for the meeting can be obtained from Town Hall.

1. Call to Order: 7:00pm

2. Approve Minutes from Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting of January 27th, 2007-adopted as amended.

Councillor Schembri would like the minutes to say ?Paralympics rather than Special Olympics?

3. Business Arising from Minutes-

?The Councillor?s Corner will be mid month in the Newspaper. The first one will be written collectively.

?Councillor McPherson will rebook the Air Quality topic after the budget has been complete.

4. Review of Agenda-addition to agenda will be: Claude Galibois Envelope item #14, Municipal Boundaries # 15, Terms of Reference #16, CBC # 17, Questions #18, Adjourn #19.

5. Tumbler Ridge Airport- BC Ambulance Service?s Requirements to Land. Alissia Sawicki, Engineering Technician, highlighted for Council some concerns and issues that hinder British Columbia Ambulance Services (BCAS) when trying to land or perform medevacs for Tumbler Ridge.

Sawicki explained the Tumbler Ridge Airport is a registered aerodrome. This means Tumbler Ridge ?provides the minister with information respecting the location, markings, lights, use and operation of the aerodrome?.

The Tumbler Ridge Airport provides several challenges for aviators. One of the greatest being the ?moderate to severe turbulence and wind shear that aircraft may encounter on approach.? Wind shear and gusts up to 95 km/hour can be experienced at the Tumbler Ridge Airport. Another challenge is the unreported runway conditions. There is also limited winter maintenance. Currently, the airport is cleared after the town centre and before the residential streets. BCAS has two aircraft, dispatched from Prince George, available to Tumbler Ridge. However, due to the conditions of the airport, only the twin engine turbine powered aircraft can land. The runway is too short for the Turbo Jet.

There has been a significant increase in medevacs over the last couple years. According to Michael Esseray, Superintendent of Operations for BCAS, there were five trips to Tumbler Ridge in 2007 and 14 in 2008. These numbers do not include the dispatched medevacs that were not able to land due to weather conditions.

Council will decide at the next Council Meeting to waive the License of Occupation Fee for the Ministry of Forests. If Council does in fact waive the fee, this will provide Tumbler Ridge invaluable weather data from the existing Ministry if Forest and Range automated weather station, which is located at the Tumbler Ridge Airport. The recent business plan of the Airport has plans for an Aircraft movement data collection System in 2009 and a weather station in 2010.


Councillor Wren: ? If we had a webcam out there, BCAS would be able to see the conditions, is that what it is for??

Sawicki: ?It would not influence BCAS. It would allow for us to track the usage of the airport.? Sawicki explained it would also aid in maintenance and give an idea of the visibility at the airport.

Councilor McManus explained to Sawicki there is another system, RWIS (Road Weather Information System), that is used widely in Alberta and also in BC which may be another viable option for the airport. He stated this system may be better than a webcam. According to the AXYS Technologies Inc. website (, RWIS is a robust and reliable system that can be built to each clients needs and specifications. RWIS is able to measure air temperature and dew point, relative humidity, frost conditions, rainfall, barometric pressure and roadway visibility.

Sawicki will be researching RWIS to further decide if this would be a viable option for the Tumbler Ridge Airport.

6. Workshop on Local Government and Climate Change

The UBC Faculty of Law is hosting a one day event titled Local Government and Climate Change-Current Law and Urgent Action. It is being held March 6th, 2009.

Ms. Isaak will arrange for a staff member to attend.

7. NCMA Resolutions

Tumbler Ridge?s Mayor and Council will be submitting two resolutions to the NCMA. One focuses on ?affordable and appropriate housing?and the desire for a strategy to use the ?pine beetle affected timber for the construction of homes? and involving the BC Mills with the strategy. Secondly, Council would like a resolution forwarded to UBCM to lobby to the BC Government, on behalf of the Peace Region, a regional facility to ?preserve, protect, study and display valuable resources? with regards to palaeontological remains.

8. NCMA Silent Auction: Item Request

Ms. Isaak will arrange for a silent auction item, going along with the dinosaur theme, for the NCMA Convention. Proceeds from the auction go to the convention.

9. Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating System for the Rec Centre Pool Area

The proposed Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating System would supply 35-40 percent of the domestic hot water(i.e. showers) requirement in the pool and the racquet ball area. The system would reduce the District?s carbon footprint by 8.7 tonnes and realize a savings of $5,074/year at the present natural gas costs. It would cost District $70,000-$80,000. District can apply for a grant form BC Solar for $35,000. If Tumbler Ridge is classified as a remote community, the grant may cover 100% of the cost.

10. Peace Region Regional District, Re: Safer Communities and Neighborhoods Act

Mayor White explained The Safer Communities and Neighborhoods Act is legislation in other provinces, but not in BC. As soon as he hears back from Sgt. Render, Mayor White will revisit this item.

11. Sliding Park

Council McPherson knows people who would like to donate time and resources to help build a sliding hill(behind Shell, across from high school). Ms. Isaak suggested the people contact Clark Hazlehurst to discuss options.

There are some concerns over this sliding area. It has become ?party central? as described by Councillor Wren, and there will need to be something done to help change this.

Councillor Beale asked, ? If we build it are we liable??

Ms. Isaak commented there would be a ?play safe? sign most likely put up.

12. ForestEthics, Re: Species and Ecosystem Protection Act Endorsement

Item brought forward by Mayor White for information only.

13. T.R. Ministerial Association

The T. R Ministerial Association would like to return to prayer held in Council Chambers. They want to ?Pray for favour, wisdom, blessing and the general welfare of our community, province and nation.?

The Ministerial Association will be notified their request has been granted.

14. Claude Galibois: Envelope

Councillor McManus is curious if Claude Galibois? Envelope and things that need to be done,(outside of building) has been included in the budget this year.

Ms. Isaak explained that the money in the budget for the museum is the grant in aid and $50,000 not used from the museum plan from last year.

The museum, however, is looking for and applying for grants and Mayor White stated, ?the Museum is working hard on the building.?

15. Municipal Boundaries

Councillor McManus thinks ?that Tumbler Ridge should look at expanding municipal boundaries so that it can benefit? from the large projects industries are developing. McManus mentioned the Enbridge Pipeline and Westerns Belcourt-Saxon Coal Mine. Expanding the boundaries to include these areas would provide tax dollars to the community of Tumbler Ridge.

Ms. Isaak will be looking into the process and time frame on how to expand the boundaries. She also explained this topic has been on the priority list for many years yet it had never been followed through.

16. Terms of Reference

Mayor White would like the Councillors to send their Terms of Reference forward so they can be added to the next agenda for approval.

17. CBC: Universal Access

Councillor Schembri has had 2 people mention to her they are no longer getting CBC television. They are not signed up for a cable package but according to Schembri, ?all Canadian households are supposed to have access to CBC?. Persona has the contract to ensure CBC is in the community of Tumbler Ridge. This will be further investigated.

18. Question and Answer Period

Marie Therriault: Referring to the resolution on ?affordable? housing. Ms. Therriault asked why the wording does not say ?low cost? housing rather than affordable since affordability varies. What one person can afford may not be what someone else can afford.

Ms. Isaak explained the wording is ?affordable and appropriate? because that is the wording the BC Government uses.

19. Adjourn: 8:45pm