In attendance: Mayor Caisley, Councillors White, Hunter and Holmlund. Councillor Hunter chaired meeting.
Official Meeting Minutes can be obtained from Town Hall.
1.Call to Order: 5:00 pm
2.Approval of Minutes from Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting of January 15, 2008.
3. Business Arising from Minutes:
Mr. Miller commented the Board of Variance/lack thereof has been taken to Council and the process is under way.
Councillor White asked Mr. Seibel if there were any numbers yet as to how much a municipal library costs to run. Mr. Seibel explained he has had no time as of yet to investigate these costs.
Councillor White also inquired on when the presence of the Oil and Gas Commission would be at a Policies and Priorities meeting. Ms. Isaak confirmed they will be visiting at one of the meetings in February.
4. Review of Agenda.
5. Northern Lights College(NLC), Re: Workforce Training and Continuing Education-Karsten Henriksen
Mr. Henriksen, the new Workforce Training and Continuing Education Coordinator for Northern Lights College Tumbler Ridge Campus, visited Mayor and Council to introduce himself and to talk about the goals and plans for 2008. Mr. Henriksen moved to Tumbler Ridge recently,coming from the Dease Lake Learning Centre with NLC.
?The Tumbler Ridge Campus has been quiet?, explained Henriksen. ?I will be working with different sectors within the community to help with training needs?. Henriksen explained he believes post secondary education is a tool for economic diversification. The goal and intention is to ?build the Tumbler Ridge campus? and he also stated NLC hopes to be the trainer of choice for the different sectors within Tumbler Ridge. When asked how he would recruit teachers for the training, Henriksen confidently explained there are teachers he can draw upon from other campuses and he will be able to use local people as well.
6. RCMP Monthly Policing Report-Cpl. Peats
Cpl. Peats attended the Policies and Priorities meeting to give a policing update and to ask Council where they would like the RCMP?s Tumbler Ridge detachment to focus their funds this upcoming year.
Cpl. Peats included a monthly policing report which highlighted criminal code statistics.
Total number of calls in 2007 were 1782. This was a slight increase from 2006, which had a total of 1751.
Property Damage had a significant increase from 77(2006) to 121(2007).
Impaired Driving rose from 22 (2006) to 42(2007),
Traffic violations went from 600 (2006) to 698 (2007)
and assaults increased from 40 (2006) to 52 (2007).
Cpl. Peats explained the number of traffic accidents in 2007 (159) were mostly work related and occurred on Petroleum Development Roads (PDR) and Forestry Roads. Cpl. Peats stated it is hard to get someone to respect a work vehicle and they are driven very hard which can lead to work?related accidents on the road.
The Tumbler Ridge Detachment is running at capacity and they are so ?busy running from call to call? that it is hard to start other projects, explained Cpl. Peats. Because of this, the process has been started to get new bodies. Unfortunately, with a new police officer, means a lot of new and expensive infrastructure changes that will come along with the new officer.
The detachment building is currently overcrowded.
A few of the building?s shortfalls listed by Cpl. Peats are: no secure interview room, no room to meet with families who are impacted by crisis, no change rooms, no showers, not enough work space for present officers, no training room and it has a limited prisoner holding capacity. There is a need for a new building and planning is underway to determine the best way to proceed with this. Cpl. Peats has talked to Jay Hill, MP and there are infrastructure grants where the funding is shared 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 through the three levels of government.
When questioned on the amount of people needed in Tumbler Ridge, Cpl Peats said ideally there would be 8 or 9 people working and stationed in Tumbler Ridge. There is an option for the District of Tumbler Ridge to pay for addition police officers, called enhanced policing, if it so inclines. Larger municipalities can do this more easily because there is more money in the budget. For example, Fort St. John has hired an addition 2 officers to work on crime reduction.
Currently, three challenges for the Tumbler Ridge detachment are the lack of services for women who have been victims of violence, highways(traffic) and the increase of drugs in the community.
Finally, Cpl. Peats has been promoted to Sargent and will be moving to Dawson Creek on March 14th, 2008. It will take 3 to 6 months to fill his position here in Tumbler Ridge. Until the position is filled, Cpl. Peats will be filling in here at the TR detachment when needed.
7.Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation(TRMF), Re: Proposal to Utilize Claude Galibois School
Dr. Charles Helm and Rich McCrea spoke to Mayor and Council about the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation?s desire to use Claude Galibois as an interim facility(5-10 years). Dr. Helm spoke about a new bone bed site discovered during last years field season which is very exciting as it is similar to the bone bed discovered in Grande Prairie. Dr. Helm also explained that although this is an exciting discovery, the problem is that the current space they occupy in the industrial section is ?so full?. The space will allow for maybe one more year of field work. The TRMF started this proposal to use Claude Galibois last July(2007). TRMF feels the school offers them an ?interim facility? and the TRMF believes using the school will be a ?most ideal chance?. Hoping to bring Provincial and Federal Ministers to sites this upcoming field season, Dr. Helm explained the TRMF would like to be able to ?show their full potential?.
Fully aware the renovation costs will not be trivial, the TRMF feels they will be able to pull from other resources(other than the District of TR) for the money needed.
Rich McCrea gave Mayor, Council and those present a thorough explanation as to why Claude Galibois would be a good fit for TRMF. He gave an informative history power point presentation on TRMF and spoke of the many possibilities that would come to the TRMF if they had the school to use as an interim site. He also explained how the school would be transformed to suit the needs of the museum. Mayor and Council ask Rich McCrea to return to the next Policies and priorities meeting in order for Council to ask any questions they may have.
8.Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation(TRMF), Re: Budget Proposal
Dave Price, president of TRMF, spoke to Council briefly about the budget presented to Council in October. Mr. Price explained that the TRMF is getting pretty good at budget projections, now having more experience. Mr. Price also stated that a lot of their fund raising that TRMF does is very dependent on the Support from Mayor, Council and the District of TR. Mr. Price explained the TRMF is asking for an additional $25,000 this year. This will match a direct donation from TRMF and will help in securing further funding. Mayor and Council requested Mr. Price return in two weeks in order to answer any questions they may have.
9.Fairgrounds Feasibility Study-Cheryl Hayden
Cornerstone Planning Group completed a feasibility study for a possible Tumbler Ridge Fairgrounds Project. An estimated budget of $46.3 million over a period of 4-5 years left Mayor and Council feeling the project is too expensive.
Mr. Miller commented the budget seems ?very, very, high? however he also stated the consultants did a ?great job? with their report.
Mayor Caisley is concerned about the large capital costs and the unlikeliness that it would not break even. Mayor Caisley stated it is ?not a viable project?.
Councilor Holmlund and White think the plan should not be thrown away as it is a good idea. They also think the cost is too high as presented.
Mr. Miller explained the District could talk to the Cornerstone Planning Group and explain Tumbler Ridge wants it smaller in scale. This item will be discussed further at the next Regular Meeting of Council.