Council Highlights Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting

In attendance: Mayor Caisely, Councilors Sipe, Kirby, Colledge, and Holmlund.

Councilor Hunter chaired meeting.

Official minutes can be obtained from Town Hall.

1. Call ot Order

2. Approve minutes from the Policies and Priorities Committee meetni of August 14.

4. Review of Agenda

5. Community Forest: – report

General Consensus is for Council to give go ahead at next Regular Meeting of Council for the budget amendment of approximately $7500 This money is for Industrial Forest Services(IFS) from Prince George. IFS will be completing the application process and business plan for the Community Forest. Spending this money will help decide as to whether or not Tumbler Ridge would benefit from having a community forest. The final decision to go ahead with the Community Forest will be made after seeing the finalized business plan.

Councilor Kirby stated the original area for the community forest has been amended due to reasons beyond control(the forest fires). The majority of the area(including Quality Creek) remains the same. Councilor Kirby mentioned several reasons for starting the Community Forest process. These are: diversification, sustainability, controlling the watershed, cleaning up dead trees in Quality Creek and strengthening the recreational aspect of the area, managing the pine beetle and logging. Councilor Holmlund echoed this statement when she said, ?The Community Forest is not just about cutting down trees.?

Several questions to consider on this topic: What is the cost Tumbler Ridge will incur? Should there be more people on the committee? Will there be more presentations for the public? Should Council be more involved and learn more about the project, especially since this is a very large project for our community?

There will be continued focus and discussion on the Community Forest.

6. Tobacco-Free Zone Proposals:

Bonnie Hunter and George Wiens from The Northern Health Authority(NHA) gave a presentation to Mayor and Council on Tobacco-Free Zones. It was an informative presentation that shed light on the serious issue of tobacco use in Northeastern British Columbia. Tobacco use in Tumbler Ridge and surrounding areas is more than 10% higher than other areas in BC. The provincial rate is 17.8% tobacco use and the North Peace area has a rate of 33%.

Hunter and Wiens proposed the following: 1- to establish a 10 metre ?smoke free zone? at entrances to municipal buildings (Library, Town Hall and Community Centre) . 2- To support and install ?Tobacco-Free Zone? signage around sports facilities, playing fields, parks and playgrounds within the community of Tumbler Ridge.

Council may choose to create a bylaw so Tobacco-Free Zones can be enforced.

These proposals will role model Tobacco Free lifestyles to children and athletes (according to NHA). Also, limiting tobacco use has proved to help smokers quit. The posted signs will help deter and discourage smokers. Tobacco-Free Zones would be self policing. All school districts in BC have been declared Tobacco-Free Zones as of September 2, 2007. Violators can be fined and could face jail time.

7. Governance Model Review and Next Steps:

Mayor and Council discussed six of ten recommendations. Consensus that an Agenda Committee is unnecessary and that Public Advisory Committees(PAC) should be established. The Portfolio Concept will be rescinded as recommended. Audit committee: no, Council does not want another committee.

Recommendations 7-10 will be carried over to the next Policies and Priority Committee Meeting.

Bylaw to Prohibit Loitering and Public Nuisances:

Fire Chief Dan Golob presented Mayor and Council a proposed bylaw that will control littering and vandalism in the downtown core and within the District of Tumbler Ridge. Having the bylaw will give the bylaw officer the ability to fine individuals who do not adhere to it. As with the ATV bylaw, Chief Golob said youth under the age of 16 who are fined under the proposed bylaw will be fined in the presence of their parents or guardians. Fine amounts will be decided at a later date.

Chief Golob advised there is a significant cost in cleaning up and repairing what vandals have laid their hands on. Having a bylaw in place will allow the district to recoup some costs.

Councilor Colledge would like to see the bylaw include the prohibition of skateboards and bicycles on sidewalks within the downtown core.

The bylaw is to be further developed and researched.

Cities Fit for Children Summit:

The Cities Fit for Children Summit will be held November 1-2, 2007 in Kelowna, BC. The purpose is to increase knowledge of the role of municipal government in enhancing early childhood development.

If a member of council or member of staff would like to attend, then they should let Council know at a later date. Item received for information.