Council Notes: September 3, 2013


Mayor Wren, Councillors McPherson (PnP Chair), Mackay, Snyder, Caisley, Leggett and Litster


Policies and Priorities

Newly appointed councillors Chris Leggett and Bev Litster were sworn in.

Business arising from the minutes:

Staff has been directed to look into the ownership of the boat launch. Currently the municipal district is operating under a licence of operation on crown land. Therefore the property is not officially owned by the municipality so before any changes are made the town needs permission from the Province. The question was then raised if the costs of repairs should then be shared?

Staff is also still looking into the liabilities for the municipality in regards to the new racetrack created by the Northern Lights College Training Program. Councillors are worried the road up to the racetrack is unsafe.

Council has requested meetings with certain Ministers for the upcoming UBCM. Mrs. Torraville explained we are still waiting for confirmation.

The Curling Club, TR Days Society and TR Youth Services Society will be attending the next meeting of council.

Feasibility for a bowling alley is still in the works and much depends on the outcome of next week’s meeting with the curling club. Kim Ferguson, president of the curling club has made some positive comments about the club for the upcoming season.

Councillors were also worried about the crosswalk from Willow to Mackenzie not being ready for the first day of school. According to Doug Beale, an attempt was made to repair the traffic lights, however, the wrong parts were ordered.

Discussion Items:

Marketing Land for Development – Please refer to page 6 for this story.


Regular Meeting of Council

Business arising for the minutes:

A small business owner was wondering if there will be generators provided for the scheduled power outage. Concerns were also brought forth about the grocery store and how the business is supposed to keep their perishable items from going bad. Mr. Elliott explained it is BC Hydro protocol for scheduled power outages to not provide generators for businesses. The small business owner who enquired was directed by Mr. Elliott to phone BC Hydro directly.

The district is looking for more storage space. Mr. Beale explained they have taken a thorough tour of the Community Centre but have yet to tour the other storage facilities.

Mayor Wren reviewed all of the councillor’s portfolios. Responsibilities are as follows: Leggett will be looking after Tourism; Litster is responsible for Health and Wellness; Snyder for Senior’s Needs; Caisley for Sustainability and the Regional District; McPherson is Recreation and Industrial Development; Mackay is responsible for the Community Forest and First Nations and the Mayor is responsible for Family Needs.


Ambulance Paramedics of British Columbia submitted a letter informing Council of their attendance at UBCM and of their availability to meet with Council to discuss emergency health care issues. A motion was made to meet with them. Councillor Litster will likely be the representative at this meeting.

Council received an invitation to attend the ninth annual Community Coal and Energy Forum hosted by the District of Chetwynd and the District of Tumbler Ridge on October nine and 10 at the Trend Mountain Hotel here in town.

Council was also invited (what a popular bunch) to the 2013 Energy Conference being held in Fort St. John from October first to the third. Mayor Wren made a motion that Councillor McPherson attend. All were in favour.

New Business

Water Treatment Plant Refurbishment Contract – During Sept. 2011 there was an extensive inspection and review of the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and water supply infrastructure for the district of Tumbler Ridge. There were two bids put in to do the work. Please refer to page 8 for the full story.

The Draft Street Naming Policy was submitted as information.

The next meeting of Council has been rescheduled from Sept. 17 to Sept 24, 2013 because Council will be away at the UBMC.

Council has approved the recommendation with all in favour to reallocate $15,000 from the ATV/Snowmobile/Hiking/Bike (ASHB) Trail upgrades to the IT budget to cover the cost of a backup system for their server data. The system is no longer functional. Please note that in the Capital Budget for 2013 there was $280,000 budgeted for ASHB trail upgrades. On top of this there was another $170,400 for this same project in 2013 and an additional $109,000 budgeted for 2014. These were the same project. There is still $280,000 available for ASHB trail upgrades for 2013.

Council defeated two recommendations by staff in regards to extending the paved walking path along Mackenzie to North Pioneer Loop. There was a contract received from Interroute Construction Ltd. DBA DGS Astro Paving to construct and pave 300 l/m (linear metres) to connect the already paved route. The reason for this is so pedestrians, especially those with baby carriages, can walk all the way from the upper bench to the town centre on a sidewalk, and not have to walk on the road. The final cost submitted was $172,544.69 including GST.

The original scope of the project was 900 l/m, but due to staff concerns over possible ATV activity along the proposed trail expansion, the length was then changed to 300 l/m, enough to connect the paved path completely.

There was $280,000 budgeted for this project and Council was very concerned about the quoted price. Because of this, Council defeated the recommendation to accept the “Notice of Award” to Interroute Construction Ltd. DBA DGS.

The second recommendation to request an additional quote for the remaining 600 l/m became void when Council accepted the recommendation to direct staff to conduct a Bylaw review as it pertains to trails and see if the current trail design specifications can be reduced to mitigate capital costs yet still provide a safe and suitable recreational trail system.

Councillor Mackay also made a motion that failing a suitable contractor to do the work that has been specified, that we establish a cost that has to be done and approach a company to do that job.

Initially the motion was for the full 900l/m, however it was amended in a friendly manner to only include the 300 l/m. This was seconded by Councillor Leggett. The motion was passed with Councillor Caisley opposed.

The final new business item was a recommendation by staff to reallocate $25,000 from the ASHB trail upgrades to a new golf course aerator. The one at the course is no longer functioning and it must be replaced. The golf course has not been aerated at all this year and it is required to be done twice a year to keep the grounds in good condition. The aerator can also be used on all District turfs. The recommendation was passed with Councillor Snyder opposed.

Schedule of Meetings:

The Community Development Institute (CDI) will be into town on the 13 conducting a workshop at the Community Centre giving an update on the Health component of our sustainability plan. This meeting is open to the public and they are encouraged to attend.

Council is also hoping to meet with AldrichPears at the UBCM in regards to the path of the Museum Foundation. This would avoid the costs of bringing them to Tumbler Ridge.

Council would like to meet with the Lion’s Club to discuss the potential of the club being the “administrators” of the Kingdom Hall. Mayor Wren stated he would like to see as many groups as possible in town having access and enjoying this new space, however, there needs to be a group to oversee the building.

Councillors’ Business:

Councillor Snyder – Lion’s park had a busy weekend, with family day and the Duck Race. Though he was disappointed with the numbers, there were still a bunch of people there. He is excited about the United Way Truck Pull and is captain of the district team.

Councillor Caisley – Along with Mr. Elliott he met with Jack Wong from the Real Estate Foundation who was a main player in the district receiving the grant for our sustainability plan through CDI. Caisley said he himself was left with the impression he was impressed with Tumbler Ridge. The next meeting with CDI is on Sept. 13. Councillor Caisley would also like to setup a meeting with School District 59 to discuss the $750,000 cuts to the transportation fund over a two to three year period.

Councillor Caisley also made reference to how Tumbler Ridge should be participating in the request from the Federal Government to supply comment on the proposed changes to the federal policy on additions to reserves and new reserves.

Councillor McPherson – He would like to invite CRS (Caribou Road Services) to a P&P meeting to discuss the access road to the racetrack and why the road out to a campsite by the switchbacks was demolished. He has been working on more questions for the PNG virtual pipeline. He also took the Mayor up to see the waterfalls and has a great picture of it.

Councillor Mackay – Was out of town for two weeks. He welcomes Mr. Beale to the Community Forest Board of Directors. There still needs to be work done out at the Murray Canyon Overlook trail. The beginning of the trail needs to be fixed, more on this at the next meeting. He was happy to see the ditches cleared beside the highway out to Dawson Creek and the bridge now in use.

Councillor Litster and Leggett look forward to bringing their news to the next meeting of Council.

Mayor Wren – Attended the activities at the campground and applauds the Lion’s Club. Would like to know if the Lion’s pay the district for use of the campground. He would also like to know what the process was to hire a contractor for the installation of the new furnace at the Museum.

He has been formulating more questions about the PNG virtual pipeline.

Mayor Wren directed staff to look into how much to would cost to get electricity and water hookups for the new RV stalls at the golf course. He thinks getting it done now while the ground is already disturbed would be a good idea.

He travelled out to the Sanctuary Valley road. Says there is a lot of firewood out there the public could go and take from the work done by the Community Forest, however there is some worry about the condition of the road.


Jeff Cooper asked council about the process taken to select a contractor for the furnace installation at the Museum as it was very confusing for a local contractor to know what staff was asking for in terms of equipment and price. Mayor Wren explained with a project of that size, it is difficult for staff to approve a ten percent (for example purposes only) markup to the price to use a local contractor because it is taking too much from taxpayers’ dollars.