Meeting of Council: November 6, 2012

By Trent Ernst, Editor

Policies & Priorities Committee Meeting

 
Present Mayor Wren, Councillors Torraville, Caisley and Snyder. Staff Barry Elliott, Angie Collision, Candie Laporte, Kelly Bryan. 
 
Before the meeting starts, Mayor Wren reads out a letter of resignation from Doug Beale, effective immediately. 
 
Darcy Jackson on BC Ideas
 
Darcy Jackson appeared before council to share her experience and involvement with BC Ideas.  She says that getting in on BC ideas was a neat experience. There were about 300 people who signed up. “Because I am not as computer literate, I don’t think I have taken full advantage of the program,” she says. While her proposal apparently is not moving forward, it was a great learning experience, with a big learning curve, and she will probably do it again. 
 
She also proposed an online art gallery, hosted under the town’s current website, but, she says, “I don’t know what that would involve.”
 
Discussion Items
 
Mayor Wren has requested review and discussion of District of Tumbler Ridge Council Travel Expense Policy EO-5. He says he has had informal and formal discussions around travel  policy, and wants to open it up for discussion. 
 
Councillor Caisley says all the councilors are required to attend UBCM and only two are sent to FCM. He says there is tremendous value to attending these conferences. Education and training need to be available. But, he says, not everyone agrees. He’d like to see the policy changed so attendance is optional, this would allow council members who don’t think they are useful to not attend. Also any councillor who wants to, should be able to attend these conferences. 
 
Mayor Wren would also like to change the section which says, “Whenever possible the use of a District vehicle MUST be used” to “is encouraged to be used”. He says, “With the amount of travel we do, it’s not that big a deal. People are not going to get rich traveling to conferences, and it isn’t always practical.” 
 
Myor Wren also points out there are two different daily expense rates. If traveling in the lower mainland there is one rate, if outside, it is another. If I needed to get a hotel room in Fort St. John right now, I’d probably have to pay more for a room than in Vancouver. How does someone have a half day travel to Vancouver? 
 
He asks staff to take a look at the policy and make any necessary changes. 
 
Regular Meeting of Council
 
Council Meeting Action Summary Sheet
 
Bulbs in cobra heads have been removed. For all intensive purposes that part is done. The light standards will be removed next year. 
 
Boat launch still not done. Mr. Elliott received clear direction from the province that it cannot be done until environmental process is done. 
 
Councillor Caisley says it’s too late to do anything at moment. We should establish a target date of next spring now, so come early part of March, we’ve already got it ready. Mayor Wren asks Mr. Elliott to outline the steps we need to take. The launch falls under three different jurisdictions, says Elliot, the Ministry of Environment, Fisheries and Ocean and Transport Canada. Transport Canada maintains navigable waters, and they have given verbal response there is no problem for them in fixing the launch. However, since the river is a bull trout bearing river, and there are specific restrictions, they will only accept a plan vetted by an environmental engineer, and work can only occur during a specific time frame. Mr. Elliott believes it is June and July. “Once it’s been accepted by various agencies, we need to have an environmental engineer on site to make sure work is done correctly.  I have initiated contact with an agency that we can work with. 
 
Some other items on the list are discussed (bowling alley and garbage cans), but little new information is available. 
 
Correspondence
 
Tumbler Ridge Children’s Centre Society
 
Council received correspondence dated October 31, 2012 from the Executive Director, Tumbler Ridge Children’s Centre Society, requesting one of the District’s free usages of the Trend Mountain Conference Centre for their Business Christmas Party fundraising event, December 15, 2012. A motion is made and passed. 
 
BC Ideas
 
Correspondence dated October 22, 2012 from the Parliamentary Secretary for Non-Profit Partnerships, Province of British Columbia, providing Council with information regarding BC Ideas.
 
Ministry of Justice
 
Correspondence dated October 11, 2012 from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, thanking the delegation from the District of Tumbler Ridge for meeting with her during the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention in Victoria.
 
Ombudsperson
 
Correspondence dated October 19, 2012 from the Ombudsperson, Province of British Columbia, providing a copy of their recent report, Open Meetings: Best Practices Guide for Local Governments and the link to the online version.
 
Bylaws
 
Bylaw 594 – Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw Council has been amended, so council rescinded the third reading to District of Tumbler Ridge Subdivision and Development Bylaw and gave third reading to the bylaw as amended.
 
Servicing Bylaw No. 594, 2012.
 
Council gave third reading to the amended version of the District of Tumbler Ridge Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw No. 594, 2012. 
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
2012 DISTRICT CHRISTMAS PARTY
 
Council is asked to authorize the use of $3,350 allocated to the SPLGA spring meeting to be used for the 2012 Christmas function.
 
Councillor Snyder – I’m not in agreement. To have the dinner is fine. I have no objection to food, but I don’t think we should be buying any liquor on tax payer’s dollar. Also, rather than having turkey and prime rib, I would vote to just have turkey. 
 
Mayor Wren — I agree about the alcohol.
 
So does Councillor Caisley. 
 
Motion defeated. Amended to remove alcohol. Passed. 
 
QUARTERLY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS TO SEPTEMBER 
 
Council received the Quarterly Financial Statements from the Chief Financial Officer, providing Council with the quarterly financial results to September 30, 2012. There is a new copy on the table, as there were a few errors in the one in the agenda package. 
 
Budgetary Control Measures
 
Council received for report dated November 6, 2012, from the Chief Financial Officer titled “Budgetary Control Measures” providing Council with measures to be undertaken that will provide assurance that budgetary controls are in place.
 
Mayor Wren asks for a verbal summary of the report. Miss Laporte says in her time here, she’s felt that we need to tighten up our accountability control measures. One thing she has done in this vein is to improve communication with the department heads through monthly reports. The department heads have traditionally received monthly reports. Now, they will contain highlighted variance amounts and a form which will be returned to the Finance Department. Miss Laporte says they’ve tightened up their purchasing policy. All these things are so that she will be able to provide a better report.
 
Canadian Federation of Independent Business 
 
Council received a report dated November 6, 2012, from the Chief Financial Officer titled “Correspondence from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business”. A copy of this report will be forwarded to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business informing them this information will form part of our upcoming budget discussions for consideration when setting mil rates for 2013.
 
Mayor Wren cautions council that the principals of the federation may not be in line with the principals of Tumbler Ridge. “If we decrease the tax rates for one group, says small businesses, it will go up for another group.” 
 
Community Centre – Dryotron and Heat Exchanger Projects 
 
Council received a report dated November 6, 2012, from the Facility Manager titled “Community Centre – Dryotron and Heat Exchanger Projects” requesting Council re-allocate $30,000 from the Facility Lighting Capital Budget to the Dryotron Project, and $10,000 from the Facility Lighting Capital Budget to the Heat Exchanger Project. Motioned and passed. 
 
Capital Completion Strategy 
 
Council received a report dated November 6, 2012, from the Chief Financial Officer titled “Capital Completion Strategy November 2012” providing Council with information regarding the progress of Capital Projects.  
 
Community Forest Share Purchase
 
Council received a report dated November 6, 2012, from the Community Development Officer titled “Community Forest Share Purchase”. Council also approved Mayor Wren and CAO execute on behalf of the District of Tumbler Ridge all necessary documents for the purchase of one share in the Tumbler Ridge Community Forest Corporation for the price of $200,000, and that Council authorize Mayor Darwin Wren and Chief Administrative Officer/Corporate Officer, Barry Elliott to approve and execute on behalf of the Municipality all documents and resolutions required for the purchase of shares in the Tumbler Ridge Community Forest Corporation.  
 
Temporary Change to Liquor License
 
In order for Christmas functions to be held at the Golf Course entertainment will need to be included and a temporary change to the Food Permit License is needed. Council agrees and passed the motion. The $300 application fee will be paid by the resident manager. 
 
Appointment of Chief Election Officer
 
With the resignation of Councillor Beale, a by-election must be held. In order to do this, a Chief Election Officer must be appointed. Mr. Elliott is appointed and Angie Collison is appointed Deputy Chief Elections Officer for the by-election. 
 
Notice of by-election
 
A report is received by Council, outlining the process for the by-election. The nomination period will be December 4 to December 14, and Election Day will be Saturday, January 14. 
 
Councillor’s Business
 
Councillor Snyder: 
On October 17, he attended Northern Lights college dinner and discussion. On the same day, he attended industry interagency meeting. Attended seniors needs meeting. He also attended a number of community events, including the Oil and Gas Commission report on fracking. He is no longer concerned about fracking’s effect on the watershed after the presentation. 
 
Councillor Caisley: 
Nothing to report
 
Councillor Torraville: 
Also attended Northern Lights college meeting. They have no plans on expanding in Tumbler. Their focus is on Workforce training. Attended interagency meeting. 
 
Mayor Wren: 
Most of the things I wanted to talk about have already been brought up. I did want to talk about fracking. There is more and more research showing that there are problems. The number of earthquakes in the Peace region has gone up over a 100 percent. The Oil and Gas Commission has said there are now earthquakes in the Horn River Basin, where there were none before. 
 
When we have earthquakes, it creates a fracture in the fault, which can create a fracture that will lead up to the aquifer. I am going to make a motion to outlaw fracking in our aquifer. 
Mayor Wren was also in Vancouver and had meeting with Jim Sinclair, Mike Hunter and Colonial Coal representatives.