Council Highlights , Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting

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

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

1. Call to Order: 7:05pm

2. Approve Minutes from Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting of February 9th, 2009-adopted as amended.

Councillor McManus would like the minutes to add following:

(a) The resolution put forth to the NCMA should state Peace Region Palaeontological Research Centre.

(b) During the discussion on the sliding hill, it was mentioned that an alternative/safer place would be looked at.

3. Business Arising from Minutes-

Councillor McPherson would like to revisit the discussion of the sliding hill.

4. Review of Agenda-addition to agenda will be: RCMP, Proposed Fire Model and Letter from BC Parks and Recreation

5. Museum Foundation-Rich McCrea and Charissa Tonnesen

Rich McCrea and Charissa Tonnesen spoke to Mayor and Council about the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation?s budget and answered any questions Council had. Charissa Tonnesen gave detailed amounts for items.

Some interesting items include the rental fee of Claude Galibois for $1 and the salaries and benefits are budgeted for $362,692. Camp programs will cost $5000 and travel for staff is budgeted at $15,000. Some capital expenditures include a field vehicle at $58,000 and an education van at $49,000.The museum is working very hard to secure several grants. The grants will help offset operating costs and will contribute to renovations.

Comments/Questions:

Chief Financial Officer, Michele Schalekamp, inquired on how secure the source of revenue is.

Rich McCrea explained this is the second time the TRMF has applied to NDI. Minister Lekstrom supports the TRMF and the museum has been doing a lot of lobbying for this funding.

Councillor McManus: To put the numbers into context, how many people?s salaries are included in the budget?

Rich McCrea stated there are three to four permanent staff and there are a number of seasonal positions with the tours and educational programs. Last season there were 12 positions and this season they are looking to expand.

Councillor Beale: Who sets the wages/benefit packages?

Rich McCrea: McCrea stated he advises

the board and the board makes the final decision on the wages. McCrea explained there is a need to be competitive when hiring workers to come work in a remote area. Also, it is necessary to ?compete with institutions who have been around? for a while.

Mayor White: ?How much money in grants have you received in past years??

McCrea explained that in 2002/2003 the museum received a softwood lumber grant of $326,000. The substantial grant helped get the museum going.

Last year, the museum raised more than $300,000 over and above what the district?s grant in aid was. The total budget last year was $550,000-565,000. This year, the total budget is about $750,000. The museum is trying to broaden their financial base support through grants, explained McCrea.

Councillor McPherson: ?The only problem I hear about the camps? the museum has, is that they are ?hard to get into?.

Rich McCrea: Now that there is a dedicated classroom for educational camps, the museum is looking to expand their programs and looking into fall and winter camps. The museum has also offered camps outside of Tumbler Ridge. They have been held in Hudson?s Hope, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Grande Prairie.

Councillor McPherson commented that Tumbler Ridge should get a big dinosaur like Beaverlodge?s Beaver. McCrea explained when done right, it can be a very costly project.

6. RCMP-Report

Sgt. Render gave council an overview of 2008?s statistics. In 2007 there were 1595 files created and in 2008 there were 1523 files. Sgt. Render explained the drop in the number of files is no indication that there was a drop in crime in Tumbler Ridge. There is a new reporting system that went into effect in late 2007.

In 2008, there were 77 prisoners. Some highlights include: 19 impaired driving charges, 2 refusals for a breathalyzer test and 30 twenty-four hour suspensions. There were 89 moving traffic violations and 11 non-moving violations. The largest category which is ?other? had 567 incidences.

The detachment in Tumbler Ridge is small, with 5 regular members and one public servant. There are three vehicles, 2 snowmobiles, 2 ATVs and 5 homes that are maintained and fully occupied.

The Tumbler Ridge detachment does not provide 24 hour coverage. Sgt. Render explained the shifts covered are during the busiest times. The regular shifts are: Monday-Wednesday 8am-midnight, Thursday-Saturday 8am-3am, and Sunday 6pm-3am. All other times are on-call hours.

The workload for the TR detachment is average-slightly above average in terms of files/member.

Comments/Questions:

Councillor McManus: ?How large does the detachment have to be in order to provide 24 hour coverage??

Sgt. Render stated his best guess, to provide 24 hour hour coverage,would be 16 members. Sgt Render explained they are ?fighting to cover what we can, the best we can?.

7.TRFD Response to Vehicle Fires

Fire Chief Matt Treit and Council discussed billing for additional costs in securing a water supply through the use of of a private contractor for responding to vehicle fires beyond the town site.

Chief Treit explained there are maybe ½ dozen vehicle fires per year that would fall into this category. He also stated there are two issues that need to be addressed in the recommendation. One being the cost issues and the other being the distance of response.

Municipal Insurance Association has advised that Tumbler Ridge Firefighters are covered for liability in this matter, however, there is no reimbursement from PEP or ICBC for vehicle fires.

Chief Treit explained that if a vehicle on fire is a risk to burning the forest, it is considered a forestry call and the fire department will be reimbursed costs at $400/hour.

Responding to vehicle fires outside of the town site will also be dependent on sufficient coverage of the town(4 members). Chief Treit stated the fire department will always respond if there are life safety issues.

Chief Treit will work on the recommendation so that it is clear when billing will occur and so that it also includes distance of response.

8. Oppose TILMA Implementation

The Consulting Engineers of BC(CEBC) wrote a discussion paper titled ?Toward the Timely and Effective Implementation of TILMA in the Procurement of Consulting Engineering Services.?

The provisions of TILMA that govern the procurement of engineering services come into effect April 1st, 2009.

The CEBC is looking for comments and feedback on their discussion paper.

One area of concern is the possible implication that ?unless careful and transparent rules for procurement are adopted, it is possible that public sector entities such as Municipalities and Regional Districts could find themselves expending more resources and effort, with higher costs and requiring more lead time, in comparison with the status quo?.

Comments/Questions:

Councillor Beale commented that as you read through the document, it doesn?t look all that bad, except for the one paragraph that states it could cost municipalities more.

Councillor McManus stated the evaluation process will be the key issue for staff.

Council?s concerns/comments on the discussion paper will be forwarded to CEBC.

9. Community Social Services Month

British Columbia?s Community Social Services workers is looking for Council?s endorsement of March as Community Social Services Awareness Month. Throughout the month of March, community social services workers will be participating in many activities to raise awareness of what community social services include.

Comments:

Mayor White commented that normally a proclamation would be done to endorse this.

Also, White explained an information booth is being established in the youth centre, however, it is in the basement.

The Councillors agree that an information booth in the community centre would be a good idea to promote awareness.

10. Emergency Management BC

There is an emergency management Elected Officials workshop in Fort St John Monday March 23rd. Those who would like to attend must advise as soon as possible.

11. Power Outage Debriefing

Councillor Beale feels it is necessary to have a larger space, like the community centre, for large amounts of people. This would be impossible right now since the generator is only used for lights and not for heat.

Ms. Isaak explained the emergency plan now lists the Community Centre as the emergency location. However, this is not a possibility through the winter.

Councillor McManus stated the citizens general response(who he had spoken to) was 1. High praises to the district staff for keeping people warm at Town Hall and 2. There were concerns for what would happen if it was a longer period of time or if it was colder.

Councillor McManus also said that a lot of people didn?t think to call Town hall and therefore did not know that it was open.

Councillor McPherson thinks the radio should be part of the (emergency) plan.

Mayor White stated Dave Conway(BC Hydro) had a hard time getting in touch with him at Town hall the evening of the outage. He tried to call Town Hall and with no answer, he called Mayor White?s house. In the end, Mayor White?s wife ventured to Town Hall with a flashlight that grabbed Council?s attention(they were hiding in a budget meeting). Mayor White thinks there needs to be a door bell or some other way of getting a person?s attention in circumstances such as the outage.

12. Proposed Fire Rescue Model

The Fire services Liason group(FSLG) has developed recommendations regarding changes and improvements to how the Fire/Rescue system should operate in BC in the future.

Some highlights include:

·The model recommends that the fire service work with the provincial government and local government to provide a province wide strategy for ensuring compliance with standards.

·Proposes the provincial government fund training for volunteer firefighters to meet the standards set by the provincial government.

Councillor Beale mentioned there seems to be more costs involved with this new model.

13. Letter from BC Parks and Recreation

There is a symposium May 27th-29th, 2009. Councillor McManus may attend. Ms. Isaak advised Ms. Hayden will not be attending since there will be overlaps of other conferences she will be going to.

14. Question and Answer Period

Marie Therriault: Would you like me to mention in my Chamber Chatter article that residents can contact town hall during an extended power outage?

Mayor and Council: ?Yes?.

15. Adjourn: 9:00 pm