Council notes October 14, 2013

Lynsey Kitching


Present: Mayor Wren; Councillors Leggett, Litster, Mackay, McPherson and Caisley


Policies and Priorities


Teck Coal

Teck Coal Ltd. came in with an update on the project. See last issue for story.

TR Days Society

The TR Days Society came in with their Grizfest report. There were about 1,500 people who came out to the music festival this past August, along with about 105 volunteers. They received different grants totaling $55,900. The RCMP reported there weren’t any major problems, like in years past in regards to tent city. The committee turns to poor weather and a lack of reservable accommodations for the reasons why attendance was quite low this year as in previous years, attendance has been up around 3,000. Though reservable spots were made available, the committee says it was too late.

This year’s event put a rather large dent in the groups finances, them walking away with a balance in their account of around $24,000 when in previous years the balance was up around $100,000. Mayor Wren was concerned if a poor turnout was to happen again, that the group would find themselves in a negative position.

The committee explains they have put a fair bit of money into the purchasing of equipment, which means even though their bank account isn’t as plump, they have more assets.

TR Days Society doesn’t only organize Grizfest in town. They also organize the Tobox’n’ Race, which was a hit last year; they are involved in the Sun Rise Golf Tournament; and the Pumpkin Patch family day, just to name a few of the other events the group is involved with. Brian Bray says, “That’s what the town needs, stuff for people to do. It’s not about us, it’s about Tumble Ridge.”

The group is looking for ways to get the folks of Tumble Ridge to come out to events.

The committee hopes Council will agree to contribute an extra $100,000 this year to Grizfest on top of the annual $37,500 from the district.


Regular Meeting of Council

Petitions and Delegations:

Responsible and Problem Gambling

Martha Funk from Responsible and Problem Gambling in BC came in to do a presentation for Council. Story on page 11.

Community Forest

Tumbler Ridge Community Forest Corporation came in to talk about the Wildfire Protection Project and to gain support of council to move forward with their prescription. See last issue for story.

School District 59

Trustee Sherry Berringer came in to discuss the latest on transportation issues relative to funding. See story on page 11.

Grant Writer update

Sherry Berringer, who is also the community’s grant writer, provided an update to Council on the grants applied for to date. They include – the Forever Young Society and the Imagine Grant through Northern Health. Hosting a one-day diabetes workshop with a dietician, home care worker and occupational therapist. Work in Progress will be catering the event.

Forever Young Society is also looking at the direct access grant. “They were planning to do an elder abuse workshop, when I found the UBCM age-friendly grant, it was decided to switch the project to UBCM, and design a new project for the direct access grant,” says Berringer. The UBCM grant for the elder abuse and training workshop was applied for.

Lansdowne Foundation has a community art project grant. Berringer has sent information to Blaine Broderick (principal at the high school), to maybe have the Art to Ride On committee apply to continue decorating the skate park.

Lastly, the Museum Foundation is applying for seven summer jobs through Service Canada.


Dr. Charles Helm thanked Council in a letter on behalf of the TRMF and the Geopark Committee for the opportunity to show the Lieutenant Governor the museum on Oct. 3. Also, in a letter from Godfrey S. Nowlan, the chair of the Canadian National Committee for Geoparks, he writes, “We are confidant that the sites identified will constitute an excellent geopark. The magnificent diversity of outstanding and accessible mountain geology, extraordinary waterfalls and dinosaur fossils and trackways, will provide for an excellent geopark.”

The Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society submitted a letter outlining the work they have done this year on the trails. They also state they have appreciate working with Mr. Beale on the trails. Examples of their work this year include rerouting a 100m stretch of trail on the Linking Trail which was becoming severely eroded and hazardous; removal of deadfall; new hiking trail to Flatbed Falls and many more projects.

The Tumbler Ridge Community Forest Corporation requested Council’s support of a resolution to proceed with meeting the wildfire prescription objectives.

The Ridge Riders Snowmobile Association submitted correspondence requesting the District’s support of the Track for Cancer 2014 by donating accommodations for their group of eight members for two nights stay on Feb. 28 and Mar. 1, and, if possible, for the use of the Trend Mountain Conference Centre or the Community Centre Room four and five for the benefit dance. Council made a motion to defer, and Councillor McPherson is to follow-up.


Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw

Council is allowed to exempt from taxation, land and improvements used for the purposes of worship or for charitable, philanthropic or not-for-profit purposes, according to the Community Charter. Council must adopt this bylaw by Oct. 31. Changes this year include the removal of 417 Willow Dr. as the church exemption because the District is now the owner, and the addition of the small area of the Public Works yard that was leased to the TR Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club. The bylaw took all three readings with all in favour.

New Business:

The Tumbler Ridge Days Society requested approval for the District’s support of Grizfest including eight recommendations. Council approved the request but with a friendly amendment to remove the last request stating that District labour and resources in coordination of the event and to include funds before the event to cover the costs of supplies and entertainment. The reason they wanted to hold off on this one was to get clarification if this point includes if the district will contribute the extra $100,000 to the committee. This will be clarified and revisited at a later date.

Signing Authority

All were in favour of the recommendation to allow all councillors, mayor, CAO, CFO, and department heads Doug Beale and Matt Treit, signing authority for financial institutions. Councillor Leggett had to remove himself for this portion, as he is the Branch Manager at the local Credit Union.

Elder Abuse Workshop

Council showed their support for the UBCM age friendly grant, which is needed to facilitate the hosting of the Elder Abuse Workshop in Tumbler Ridge.

Strata Land Exchange

Steeprock has approached Council for a strata land exchange. Currently, Council owns a property where there is a resident paying rent. Steeprock has a vacant property, lot 245, which is commonly used as a path for pedestrians walking from the upper bench to the middle bench. Steeprock is proposing Council buy the vacant lot and sell their lot, with a tenant for market value.

Many questions were asked including how much it would cost the district to do snow removal for the pathway if they were to take on maintaining it. How much would the district lose in rent each month if not landlords of lot 277?

The Motion was defeated 4-2.

Capital Budget Summary

Council was provided with a very detailed Capital Budget Year to Date Summary. This document will now be updated in real time and presented to Council on a quarterly basis for review. For this year, 25.9 percent of the projects have been completed, leaving $3,877,258 worth of projects which are either started and not finished, or not started yet.

Councillors’ Business:

Councillor Leggett attended TR Youth group trip to Fort St. John. There were about 20 kids and they went to the skateboard park. He met with a representative from Bell Media about the potential of using Tumbler Ridge in their future ad campaigns.

Councillor Litster met with Lieutenant Governor on Oct. 3, and the event was well received. On Oct. 7, was at the museum for the Northern Health Bus tour, then met up with the group in Fort St. John the following day for the workshop on the impacts of the boom/bust cycle. TR was named as one of the impacted communities. They talked about the $15 billion in projects for LNG in the region. Oct. 10 went to the Building Healthy Communities workshop, learned importance of a Healthy Community Coordinator. Had a phone conversation with Jaret Clay from Northern Health about the nursing positions. He says progress is being made, but there are no details at this time.

Councillor Mackay went to the Grizfest Committee Meeting, discussed the value of online tickets and campsite reservations. Attended community forest meeting where Charles Helm and Tim Bennett were there to discuss the Murray Canyon Overlook and the changes made there. They agree the area had to be treated the way it was. Attended Lieutenant Governor event and thanks Aleen Torraville for organizing. He says congrats to the Geopark committee as their application to UNESCO is done.

Councillor Caisley met Lieutenant Governor on Oct 3. Oct. 9 went to the Coal Forum reception. Went to the PRRD meeting where Northern Health signed an MOU with the six member regional districts. The signing ceremony will be Oct. 21. Attended the North Central Local Governments Association, AGM and convention, thinks we should consider a bid to host the event in 2015.

Councillor McPherson attended the Northeast Energy Conference in Fort St. John. Says LNG was big there. Says it seems as thought LNG is the biggest thing for the northeast since the Alaska Highway. The energy companies were saying they are falling short on educating the public about fracking and pipelines. Says he was surprised to find out there are three LNG pipelines proposed to the coast and there may be five, on top of the oil pipeline. At the conference they talked about temporary foreign workers (TFW), and that the oil patch needs workers. About 23 percent of the TFW’s in Canada are in BC. He would like Tumbler Ridge to sponsor the event in future years.

Mayor Wren attended the ninth annual Coal Forum here in Tumbler Ridge, which had a record attendance for TR hosting. Extended gratitude to the Economic Developer from Chetwynd who helped out immensely. Says from the 2012 stats, there was $100 million spent on coal exploration in the northeast.

Went on the Health Officers tour of the museum, everyone seemed pleased.

He says Ray Proulx from Teck and former Economic Developer for Tumbler Ridge is keen on seeing economic growth development get going in town. Says the goals of the District and the Mining companies align. Would like to get some promotional material together to promote the town as a community of choice to live in.

Met with MLA Mike Bernier about the lack of fossil protection legislation in the province. Says he will go back to Victoria and invite representatives from the Museum Foundation to make a presentation to all of the MLAs.

The Lieutenant Governor has given to the district as a gift a serving spoon set, with a first nations design. The artist is Paul Winsor.

Councillors were wondering if the district and HD Mining can team up and get some ping pong tables for the workers new to the community from China. Councillor Litster says they have asked if there are any in town, and would really like to play. Mayor Wren says this can be arranged.