Council notes October 1, 2013

Lynsey Kitching

 

Present:

Mayor Wren, councillors Leggett,

Litster, Mackay, Caisley, Snyder

(Note: The P&P meeting was cancelled)

 

Regular meeting of council

 

Petitions and delegations:

Canadian Junior Rangers

See story next week.

Tumbler Ridge Curling Club

See story next week.

Sundance Wind Project

Ron Percival Avro Wind Energy, BC wind developer and David Wonder from EDF EN came in with an update on the project. The plan is to create another wind project of 85-147 turbines creating 250 mega watts of power, or enough to power 70,000 homes and is equal to taking 150,000 cars off the road by creating clean energy. The site is 20 kilometres north of Tumbler Ridge, utilizing the Moose Lake forestry service road and is located on BC crown land.

The project will create about 10 to 15 full-time jobs and take about 300 workers to complete the construction, which will take about two years. Sundance is currently going through the environmental process and have about 95 percent of the fieldwork done. However, they don’t yet have a contract with BC Hydro. They say you will not be able to see the project from Moose Lake from most vantage points. When heading north towards Dawson Creek, it is visible.

For the construction they are looking to work with Mortenson Construction, who worked on the Quality wind project. The workers will probably be living in town not a work camp. They are also considering making an office here in town.

Correspondence:

United Way sent a letter of thanks to council for having participated in the First Annual Fire Truck Pull in Tumbler Ridge.

New Business:

Generator for Water Treatment Plant

Doug Beale, operations manager for Public Works requested $85,000 for the installation of an Emergency Generator for the Water Treatment Plant (WTP). The money would have to come from other existing budgets, as it was not in the budget for 2013. The letter states, “With the installation of the Emergency Generator at the Community Centre, there is an opportunity to utilize the existing generator from the centre.”

The treatment plant controls the water system through SCADA systems that rely on the computer system. In the event of extreme weather or an extended power outage, having the generator would allow staff to monitor and continue operating the water and heating systems. The funds could either come from the water treatment plant refurbishment budget of $621,170, which came in at $399,399, or the commercial water meters budget of $168,708.

After much deliberation, council denied the recommendation to approve the monies for the generator and Councillor Mackay made a new recommendation that this matter be forwarded to the next P&P meeting. All were in favour.

BC Healthy Communities Workshop

All were in favour for Councillor Litster to attend the BC Healthy Communities Workshop in Fort St. John on Oct. 10, 2013.

Northern Health Bus Tour

An on-table report was given to Council asking them to supply refreshments for the BC Health Officers Council at the Museum on Oct. 7. The group is doing a bus tour from Prince George to Fort St. John with their main stop being Tumbler Ridge for one hour. They will be going a workshop on socioeconomic impacts associated with resource industry development. They will not be visiting the health centre, rather taking a tour of the museum. The tab requested to be picked up by the district for “refreshments” was $1,522.50 to be catered by the Trend Mountain hotel at $22 a head for about 55 people plus 20 percent gratuity. Needless to say, Council was not too supportive of this amount of money and is looking to contribute some money to host the group, but will not contribute that much money. Councillor Mackay said, “There doesn’t seem to be anything that involves Northern Health with what they are doing. Even if they were going to spend some time at the clinic evaluating what is going on and the needs, even then I think I would have a hard time with this because Northern Health is hosting this event, if you are going to host it, that means pay for it.”

If Council declines, the group will find an alternative solution.

Councillors’ Business:

Councillors Litster and Caisley – nothing to report

Councillor Leggett: He thanks the district for attending UBCM. He spent a lot of time focusing on the ATV issues with Councillor McPherson. He also went for a few bike rides and hikes on the trails. Found a few gaps in signage he would like to talk to the WNMS about.

Councillor Mackay: Attended the potato-dig and thanks Councillor Snyder for throwing the barbecue in his truck. He says the JCR are inspiring. Councillor Mackay asked if we would be getting a new student councillor? Mayor Wren replied the high school is aware they need to start the process and provide an individual.

Councillor Snyder: On Sept. 25 he attended a seniors’ needs meeting but lack of quorum required them to reschedule. Sept 27, teleconference, EIT meeting, a lot going on. Want any local government to submit applications for 2014 funding programs like the economic development capacity program, the grant-writing program, local government intern program, and a few more. Local management intern program means they pick six candidates to work in seven communities. “I’ve talked to Mr. Elliott and he was involved at another time. By having the interns, if we apply, most of the cost is covered by MEIT and is around $35,000 a year, $30,000 towards wage, $5,000 towards travel,” he says. Small town love program is a $75,000 pilot project with six communities participating. Each local business receives professional photos, profile and website and a community launch reception and more. Puts small town business onto a website where they can be located easier by contractors.

Went to the seniors’ lunch-in at the high school probably about 35-40 seniors there. Kids at the school did all the cooking with teachers. Was a very good turnout and well appreciated. They also had a supper that night as well.

Mayor Wren: Minister Coleman with natural gas development and fracking his response to our concerns was that we shouldn’t be concerned. No update into any groundwater protection legislation so it is our responsibility to be comfortable with the protection of our water source. Met with Gary Paget who was instrumental in the design of Tumbler Ridge. He was very interested in TR and how things we going and enthusiastic about the Geopark. Recommendation we send a letter to Minister Oakes and he believes we will get a letter of support from the Province.

Went on a trip down the Murray River and says the tourism potential is enormous. Would like to thank MLA Bernier for his support of Tumbler Ridge initiatives.

Met with curler Georgian Wheatcroft, 1992 Olympic bronze medalist and world champion in 2000. She said she would come and support the Tumbler Ridge curling club. Mayor Wren would like the Chamber of Commerce to come in with an update.