Council Notes – November 5, 2013

Present:

Mayor Wren; Councillors Leggett, Litster, Mackay, McPherson, Caisley, Snyder

Policies and Priorities:

Delegations

Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber came in to give Council an update. They have currently recruited 15 members for 2014. One of the reasons they say recruitment has been difficult is because many businesses already belong to the Chamber in either Dawson Creek or Chetwynd. They think in the new year, more people will be ready to move to the Tumbler Chamber. The Chamber has been busy so far and have been involved in different projects throughout town including the All Candidates Forum, the Grizfest parade, the Coal Forum and Small Business Week. Plans in the works include a Christmas Business Fair at the Community Centre on Nov. 30, monthly luncheons or breakfast meetings, business features, a spring trade show, a business locator map, the winter carnival and more. The group is requesting Council meet with them to discuss the Chamber taking over the Business Directory, the Tourist Information Centre, signage and billboard advertising and other marketing initiatives. Council is in agreement that having the Chamber take over the Visitor’s Centre is a great idea. The Chamber is hoping to reach 100 businesses, and they will be doing a membership drive in the new year. They need to “draw people back”. The Chamber and Council also discussed the problems with retail in the downtown core. The Chamber pointed to high rent rates for one of the reasons why retail is basically absent from the downtown core.

Reports

Fee for Service Policy

A report dated Nov. 1 from the administrative services manager. This new policy would enable non-profits to entre into a three-year contract with the District for funding, instead of every year applying for grant-in-aid, which was intended for a one-time use. This would also enable a contract to be draw up outlining the expectations from the District to continue with the fee-for-service. The not-for-profit must show they can match the District’s contribution in either other donation dollars or in-kind services. The fee for service policy was accepted as information and will be revisited. Council seemed very pleased with the policy and hope to have it in practice as soon as possible.

Discussion Items

Planning a healthy community

Councillor Litster made a presentation on the benefits of building and planning a healthy community. She has also created a steering committee to brainstorm about how to make Tumbler Ridge a healthier community. She hopes to include all different types of people in the committee.

P&P Meeting Schedule

Councillor McPherson would like to change the P&P meetings in the hopes of creating more dialogue. Check out the story next week.

Regular Meeting of Council:

Council Meeting Action Summary Sheet

Information from Barry Elliott, CAO, explaining Nov. 26 will be a meeting with Ray Collins from Urban Systems. Also, the reduction of lanes from four to two will now be taken on by Brent Schofield. Other changes include: The target date to assess storage needs has been changed to the end of March; The land sale policy has been removed from the list because there already exists a high level of flexibility for the two year construction period; Doug Beale has been removed from the zoning bylaw project and Elliott and Aleen Torraville have been assigned with a target date of the end of March; Candie Laporte and Beale have not yet looked into the liability issues at the Rack Track; and finally Schofield and Beale have a target date of the end of March to review the bylaw for the Mackenzie Trail and Pioneer Loop Path.

Don McPherson asked again to have the Caribou Road Services come in to a P&P meeting to discuss the highways. This was noted.

Petitions and Delegations:

TR DAYS SOCIETY

Presented to Council requesting additional funding for the annual Grizfest events. The group has been running Grizfest for over a decade and was not expecting the blow they took this year. The committee has promised and is keen on inducing positive change. They would like to explore a new format, increase family accessibility, poll the Peace Region for act requests and take on more fundraising before the event. Council was very receptive and excited the group is willing to look at different ways to get attendance back up at the festival. The Grizfest committee is requesting an additional $100,000 from the district, which needs to be decided upon now so bands can start getting booked, the crunch is on.

TUMBLER RIDGE MUSEUM FOUNDATION

Presentation was made to Council requesting the final installment for the grant-in-aid payment for the museum. Visitorship is up at the museum for the year, and there will also be an increase in visits from out of town school classes, as the museum was finally able to get in direct contact with the teachers who would like to take their students on field trips. Council has released the funding for the forth quarter of 2013.

Correspondence:

CANADIAN UNION OF POSTAL WORKERS

Correspondence dated Oct. 14, 2013 requesting Council’s endorsement of two resolutions; to use an upcoming review of the Canadian Postal Service Charter to focus on revenue-generating services, not cuts, including financial services such as bill payments, insurance and payments and to improve the Canadian Postal Service Charter and make the upcoming review of the Charter open to public input. The letter reads, “Next year, the federal government will look at how it handles public postal services with a review of the Canadian Postal Service Charter…the government could reduce Canada Posts’ obligation to provide service or even lay the groundwork for privatizing or deregulating our public post office.” This was received as information.

ASPIRING GEOPARK DRAFT MOU

Correspondence dated Oct. 24, 2013 from Dr. Charles Helm requesting that the District of Tumbler Ridge be a signatory on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the Geopark. Councillor Snyder made the motion to accept the request, and Councillor McPherson seconded the motion. The motion passed all in favour.

LIGHT OF THE ROCKIES LODGE # 190

Correspondence dated Oct. 15, 2013 from the Light of the Rockies Lodge #190 requesting consideration for use of space at the newly acquired building on Willow Dr. Councillor Mackay asked Mayor Wren when the facility would be operational? He responded saying the renovations are complete. Council is waiting on a second meeting with the Lions Club to see if they are willing to manage the building. The goal is to maximize the utilization. The request was submitted as information.

ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION BRANCH 286

Correspondence dated Oct.18, 2013 from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 286 with the request that Council declare the week of Nov. 5 – 12, 2013 as Veterans Week and that the street from Tumbler Ridge Legion to the Tumbler Ridge Secondary School be closed on Nov.11, 2013 at about 10:15 a.m. to noon for the Remembrance Day Service. Mayor Wren read the proclamation and the request was accepted all in favour.

SOCIAL SERVICE WORKERS DAY

Correspondence dated Oct. 21, 2013 on behalf of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) requesting that the District proclaim Nov. 6, 2013 as Community Social Service Workers Appreciation Day. Mayor Wren read the proclamation and it was approved.

ASPIRING GEOPARK FEE WAIVER REQUEST

Correspondence dated Oct. 29, 2013 from the Chairperson of the Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark Steering Committee requesting a fee waiver for the use of the Conference Centre for Aug. 26-27, 2014. The conference will discuss ‘ageing resource communities’, and will host 25 speakers from across North America. The conference will be modeled on the 2013 Geopark symposium and the 2012 Docs and Dinos medical conference. The request was granted with all in favour.

New Business

TUMBLER RIDGE DAYS SOCIETY

Report dated Oct. 7, 2013 from the Program Coordinator requesting approval of District resources in the amount of $37,500 for the purpose of running the 2014 Grizfest Music Festival and to provide financial support in the amount of $100,000. It was recommended that Council grant TR Days Society the use of District accounting system and purchase orders to obtain port-a-potties, souvenirs, t-shirts etc. (These funds will be returned to the District when event revenue is deposited into the District accounting system); and District to provide additional financial support in the amount of $100,000 approved prior to Nov. 8, 2013 so artists and contractors can be hired for 2014 Grizfest Music Festival. Council has deferred the decision as they would like to see a business plan before providing the additional financial support. Councillors Caisley and Litster were opposed to this decision. There has been a meeting scheduled between TR Days Society and Council for Nov. 7 at six p.m., at which time a final decision will be made. Council seems in full support of the festival continuing, but would like to see ideas put down on paper.

BYLAW OFFICER

Report dated Oct. 29 from the Fire Chief titled Resolution for Oath of Office for Bylaw Officer requesting Council’s appointment of Jane Butters as the bylaw officer. The recommendation to appoint Jane Butters as the bylaw officer for the District of Tumbler Ridge passed with all in favour.

FEE WAIVER REQUEST

Report dated Oct. 29, 2013 from the interim director of community services titled Fee Waiver Request from the Royal Canadian Legion #286 requesting a fee waiver for the use of 200 folding chairs for the Remembrance Day Service including delivery and pick up of the chairs to the Tumbler Ridge Secondary school gymnasium for Nov. 11, 2013. The recommendation to approve the fee waiver in the amount of $200 for the Royal Canadian Legion #286 was approved all in favour.

DEVELOPMENT VARIANCE APPLICATION

Report dated Nov. 1, 2013 from the CAO titled Development Variance Application – Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation providing information of the Development Variance Permit application that has been submitted by the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation. Elliott explained there was a canvas done of the neighbourhood. With late entries included, 21 of the 84 households canvased responded. Of these 21 people, 20 were in agreement with the application and one noted a objection due to the potential for noise. The TRMF would like to build a 6,500 square foot workshop adjacent to their leased facility at 255 Murray Dr. The recommendation was to deny the Development Variance Permit application from the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation as submitted for Lot 107, District Lot 3164, Plan 29399. Elliott explained this was the recommendation strictly because this request is an exception to the rule. Council defeated the recommendation with Councillor Caisley in favour. A new recommendation to accept the Development Variance Permit application from the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation as submitted for Lot 107, District Lot 3164, Plan 29399 was brought forth by Councillor McPherson, Councillor Mackay seconded. The recommendation passed with Councillor Caisley opposed.

RETAINING WALL

Report dated Nov. 1, 2013 from CAO titled Remedial Action Requirement for Retaining Wall – 227 Bergeron Dr. seeking Council imposition of a remedial action requirement (RAR) in relation to a failing retaining wall at 227 Bergeron Dr. The structure has been deemed unsafe from a visual inspection from Ken Klickash. The recommendation was for Council to impose the following Remedial Requirements against Melissa Newhook and Landon Fallon of 227 Bergeron Dr.; retain the services of a structural engineer to provide a report on the condition of the retaining wall located at the North side of the property, and, follow the recommendations of the structural engineer with respect to the remediation of the retaining wall, and if remediation of the retaining wall is required, obtain a building permit prior to initiating remediation, and finally to ensure that all applicable remediation must be completed prior to June 1, 2014.

The recommendation passed with Councillor Leggett opposed.

DEVELOPMENT VARIANCE APPLICATIONS

Report dated Nov. 1, 2013 from the CAO titled Development Variance Applications – 0948201 B. C. Ltd. informing Council of two Development Variance Permit applications that have been submitted by 0948201 B. C. Ltd. for reduction of parking stall dimensions throughout the development and for an increase in the permissible post development storm design system flows. The recommendation was to deny the Development Variance Permit applications from 0948201 B. C. Ltd. as submitted for Lot Z, District Lot 3164, Plan 28445 again because it goes against the bylaw. This is the Monkman Commons development, and they would like to reduce parking stall sizes throughout their development from three metres by 7.5 metres, to three metres by 6.1 metres. Also, they are seeking to increase the post development design flow to 223 litres per second. This will discharge into the undeveloped area of land located between Southgate and Mackenzie Way. School District 59 was consulted and had no objections.

The initial recommendation to deny was defeated, and the recommendation to approve the changes was approved with Councillors Litster and Caisley opposed.

Schedule of Meetings:

Council is to meet with the Murray River Coal Mine project working group and also with Rick Collins in regards to the District’s asset management.

Councillors Business:

Councillor Leggett

Met with the grant writer to look into funding for a mountain/road bike race. She indicated we would need a cycling club that is at least one year old to be eligible for government funding. The next step is to gage the appetite in the community and connect with the WNMS. Met with Ernst from the newspaper, hoping to begin submitting a financial literacy article each month, to inform the community about financial matters, for example book keeping. He attended the Pumpkin Patch and has signed up for the Movember fundraising campaign. He encouraged all to join as well.

Councillor Litster

Went to a meeting with MP Mike Bernier and the Northern Health executive. The meeting was one hour and unfortunately there was not much to report. The Mayor of Dawson Creek, a representative from Chetwynd and Pouce Coupe were also in attendance.

Councillor Mackay

The RFP for the visitor centre has come back with eight or more applications. He thinks it would also be a perfect home for the Chamber of Commerce. Going through the process to bring the Community Forest Board member count up from five to seven. Has suggested the District look into running some kind of Christmas decoration contest both residentially and in the businesses.

Councillor Snyder

On Oct. 19 he attended the senior’s supper and dance, about 50 people were there. On the 24th he attended the haunted house, he said it’s a shame it had to be downstairs, but they pulled it off. Attended the bonfire on Halloween and was surprised by the amount of people. He thanks Shop Easy, the Lions Club and the RCMP. He attended the Pumpkin Patch. On Nov. 2, he worked the hockey concession and says it was amazing to see so many kids playing hockey. He attended the Rocky Horror Picture Show and says there were more people than in the past, great performance. He requested staff to look into the unsightly premises bylaw because he thinks there are a lot of people parking vehicles and campers on their lawns. He thinks this needs to be stopped. Councillor Snyder is also concerned about vehicles parking on district property. Mayor Wren asked this be brought back into a future P&P meeting.

Councillor Caisley

A report is being prepared outlining TR’s Sold Waste services and what the disposal process should look like. On Oct. 24 he attended a PRRD meeting where the regional district signed an MOU to support the Geopark. On Nov. 1 had a conference call with CDI and the mayor. The Northern Development Initiative Trust Board (NDIT) has declined the funding request by CDI. The funding was $1 million and would have been very beneficial for small communities and their planning. He says the NDIT is being very tightlipped as to why the decision was overturned. The Northeast Regional Advisory Committee had approved it. This will not affect the Sustainability plan for Tumbler Ridge. There will be reports ready on the completed portions of the plan, for example the health section, by the end of November. They are now working on the sports/recreational/programming side of the plan. There has also been a complete demographic analysis done. He hopes to include council in a conference call with CDI at the council meeting on Nov. 19.

Councillor McPherson

Took a stroll through the forest with Duncan McKellar from the Community Forest and says the proposed park could be very beautiful. He believes they are going to do it right. He attended the UNBC regional advisory board meeting in Fort St. John. He learned that enrollment in university is down and they are trying to increase programming in areas such as engineering. They discussed the lack of professionals in towns in the northeast, such as lawyers and accountants, and said Tumbler Ridge has these problems two-fold. He met with the ATV club president, and talked about what they would like to do with the trails. He attended the pumpkin patch and was happy to get the mayor and the banker with one pie.

Mayor Wren

He attended the pumpkin patch, which was well organized and was happy to see people in attendance from out of town. Attended the dinner with the auxiliary ladies, who are trying to build their group again. He met with FortisBC, about natural gas delivery to our area. He is still working on the intervener status for PNG’s proposed virtual pipeline; the final submissions are due late Nov. He met with Family Needs on Oct. 29, and they are looking for more people as Vanessa Smith has moved away. Mayor Wren would like to see the Christmas lights continue as last year. The Family Needs committee was opposed to getting fake Christmas trees. He would like to engage with Chamber of Commerce about Christmas decorating around town in the businesses. The new playground at Chamberlain Park is being well used, and they have begun to work on plans for the next location, which will probably be the play area outside the museum. They would like to go with a natural looking playground with educational features. He would like this to be a budget line that gets early approval so they can begin work in the spring.

The daycare is not as busy as it was, but the pre-school is still full. There was money for landscaping, as the fence around the play area is in disrepair. He is working with Elliott to get this done. Councillor Litster has been invited to the Family Needs next meeting to discuss health needs. Wren would like to carry out a poll to get input on the amenities we need to enhance. He would also like to enhance the Canada Day events in town for 2014, and to celebrate the multiculturalism of Tumbler Ridge through dance and food. Mayor Wren says Halloween went well and the RCMP had no major concerns. Mayor Wren is also looking to get some hockey camps going here in Tumbler Ridge and is working with a hockey school. He is also concerned about the funding denial for CDI because it would have benefitted smaller communities the most surrounding planning.

Questions

Last Aboriginal Day a group of folks planted several hundred trees, and a community member was concerned these trees were being uprooted around town. One area being the Monkman Commons were there were 200 trees planted that are now gone. They are also worried about the trees that have been planted behind the INN. She would like to know how she could get involved with the Community Forest to encourage more planting. Mayor Wren suggested she join the board, as they are in the process of having more board members added.

A community member involved in the remedial action requirement for retaining wall informed Council that the wall is an anchored wall, which does not typically fall. He does not want to have to use a structural engineer, as he can do the work himself. Mayor Wren encouraged him to come forward as a delegation and explain his perspective.