Hello and welcome back to Councillor?s Corner. As we said in the last edition, communication is a key priority for every member of our Council and we thought that an occasional article in the local newspaper to bring you up to speed would complement the other initiatives we will be undertaking to inform and involve our community, as we move Tumbler Ridge forward, over the next three years.
Tumbler Ridge may be a small town, but it is a huge community. This was demonstrated again in the minutes, hours and days that followed the explosion on Wolverine Ave. The way the people of this community come together in times of crisis is amazing. We would just like to take this opportunity to thank the first responders and all of those who were involved in assisting with this tragedy. The people of Tumbler Ridge are what make this town such a wonderful place to call home.
May 6-8 Mayor and Council attended the North Central Municipalities Association conference in Dawson Creek. This was a great opportunity to have our voice heard. There were several resolutions endorsed at the NCMA that have a direct impact on us. Two of them are:
Be it resolved that the NCMA and the Union of BC Municipalities lobby the Province of British Columbia for a facility to preserve, protect, study and display our valuable paleontological resource.
Be it resolved that NCMA requests that UBCM work with the Province of BC to ensure that future Local Government Official Community Plans consider age friendly, disability-friendly, universal design principles.
These resolutions will only serve to strengthen already existing initiatives that the District is working on. Council continues to look for innovative ways to improve infrastructure, encourage local business development, increase tourism, and to make Tumbler Ridge a safe and progressive community
Councillor Schembri Comments
Spring is here and that means fire season is upon us. The Interface Fire Committee (IFC) members have been hard at work. Along with our Registered Professional Forester, the Ministry of Forests, Ministry of Environment, West Fraser and numerous other stakeholders, great strides have been made towards the protection of our town from interface fire.
One of the initiatives put forward by the IFC is the thinning and clean up of the forested areas within the townsite. Most of you will have noticed the logging that is going on. This is to mitigate the effects of the mountain pine beetle and reduce forest fuels within wildfire hazard areas I would like to thank our Engineering Technician Alissia Sawicki for all of her hard work and dedication to this project.
The visit from the Olympic Women?s hockey team was fantastic. The team was impressed with the facilities and what our community has to offer. Other Councillors will fill in some of the details. I just want to add that it is the calibre of the people in this community that draws people here. A special thank you to Kevin and staff at Lakeview Inns and Suites and Darryl and his staff at Shop Easy for going above and beyond. Also thank you to District Staff who made sure that the team?s wishes were followed.
Another initiative that Council is looking at is the Biomass operation. This is an exciting prospect for the community and one that Council is committed to exploring.
It is a privilege to be serving on this Council during this time of change. Council has now adopted a Strategic Plan which has set out priorities and direction for the community to move forward. If you get the opportunity to look through it, it is an interesting read.
The last six months have flew by for myself on counsel. I will use this opportunity to highlight some of the initiatives I have been focussing on for the community. During my campaign I outlined health and housing as an area that I felt we needed to try to
process. Upon election, I immediately joined the Mayor?s Task Force on Senior?s. I am happy to report that the efforts of this committee, past and present, and the Comparative Study that was carried out by Dr. Helm and Dave Price have been instrumental in Tumbler Ridge securing 16 Housing Units for low income senior?s and person with disabilities. The cost of the units are being paid for by a joint Provincial and Federal Government initiative.
Planned construction will occur in the summer of 2010 with occupancy expected by the fall. The task force has also been instrumental in the development of a ?Senior?s Corner? with the cooperation of the Local Lions Club. The issue of not having a Social Worker continues to be worked on. In the meantime, Service BC has established service provision out of the TR Library. Thank you Michelle Burton. The community also now has the services of a much appreciated Mental Health nurse three days each week, thank you Northern Health Authority. We continue to have high level meetings with Northern Health to discuss other areas of concern and thank them for their participation. Please note, none of this could have happened without the rest of Council, our tireless community volunteers and our exceptional staff. There still remains much to be done.
The other area of concern that I had prior to election was what I perceived to be a lack of team work between Mayor, Council and staff. I am very happy to report that the entire team is working in unison for the betterment of all the citizens of Tumbler Ridge, which I am very proud to be a part of.
Thank You, Darwin Wren
Since I have been elected it has been an educational and rewarding experience and I feel very proud of the work we have accomplished to date. There are a few initiatives that I am currently working on such as looking at commercial parking within the vicinity of the downtown core to accommodate the mobile industry that also contribute to our economy, raising the speed limit from 80kmph to 90kmph on Highway 52 East to reflect current improvements. These are just a couple of issues we are involved with amongst all the other issues we are also working on. I would also like to thank all the staff and employees of the District of Tumbler Ridge as they are the ones that do the leg work from the decisions we make.
I would also like to comment on the recent tragedy we experienced in our community with the house explosion. My thanks go out to all the First Responders, the Emergency Services, the Rangers, Public Works, the businesses, the residents and everyone who helped with this tragedy. Once again the residents of Tumbler Ridge have shown their true colors to help those in need and I am very proud to be part of such a great community. To all those directly affected my best wishes and hope we can move forward and continue to strengthen our community.
Some may have noticed that I am not so much of the social butterfly but please be assured that I am always working on whatever the issues that comes across the Council Chambers with integrity and diligence as my fellow councillors are doing.
So again my thanks to the citizens of Tumbler Ridge for having the confidence in me to get the job done.
Councillor McManus? Comments:
Hello Everyone. I am pleased to announce that two very, civic-minded residents have offered to contribute to the Standing Committee for Arts, Culture and Recreation. I would like to recognize and thank Darcy Jackson and Brian Bray for their desire to assist us with this important initiative. The Standing Committee had its first meeting in early June and its role is designed to serve as another communication link between local groups and the community overall, with Mayor and Council.
Local groups have been very busy preparing for and hosting a variety of events last weekend.
The 2009 Peace Liard Juried Arts Exhibit was hosted in Tumbler Ridge this last weekend and it was a huge success. Artists from across the region submitted various art pieces for jury-selection and appreciation by our community. The calibre of the art throughout the region is very high and our local artists stood very well in the judging. We have a terrific group of local artists and I wish to recognize their efforts. Due to the tireless contributions from many volunteers and the Tumbler Ridge Community Arts Council this event was a big success.
The Grizzly Valley Saddle Club ? Poker Ride and Gymkhana was also staged last weekend. With +90 riders (85 from out of town) this event was terrific! There was a host of activities and spectacles for the crowd to enjoy, from Trick Riding, to Barrel Racing, a horse and rider parade team, to the RCMP canine unit demonstration and many other fun events. The crowd was also entertained by emcee Sgt. Kurt Petes of the Dawson Creek ? RCMP. Congratulations to all the volunteers involved on an extremely successful weekend.
I attended the 25th anniversary dinner for our local ?Lions? volunteer organization. This volunteer organization has been a consistent contributor to our community and our residents. There were several members acknowledged for their individual contributions to the local organization. Congratulations to the Lion?s Club on this important occasion and thank you for all you have done to make our town a caring community.
I attended a dinner sponsored by the Lakeview Inn and Suites and Shop Easy for the Women?s Olympic Hockey Team, that are land-training in Tumbler Ridge. It was a pleasure to meet our women?s Olympic hockey team and report back to you how successful this training initiative has been for them. Discussions with team coordinators outlined how important it was for the team to be able to undertake its training regimen, in a low key manner. The features of our district have enabled the Olympic team to land train at altitude and in a variety of ways including; cross-county running, mountain cycling, swimming, weight training etc. Their training here is designed to improve endurance and their schedule has been gruelling. The District of Tumbler Ridge has played an integral part in this success by making our facilities available to the Olympic Team, when they need them. We have been informed that this training session has been so successful that organizers are considering bringing other Canadian Olympic athletes here to train as well. Our thanks go out to the District staff, the Lakeview Inn and Suites and Darrel from Shop Easy for your contributions.
We sincerely hope you that we have given you a bit of a glimpse into what Council has been up to these past few months and we look forward to using this format to keep you up-to-date as we move forward.
District of Tumbler Ridge