Present: Councillors Holmlund, Hunter, Sipe, Colledge, Kirby and Mayor Caisley. Absent: Councillor White.
1. Call to order at 7:00 pm. Amendments to the minutes from the Committee of the Whole meeting of December 12, 2006 are:
(a) Councillor Hunter moved to have the addition of a letter from Mr. Sidwell amended to the minutes. Hunter also moved to have a letter from a BC Ltd company added to the closed meeting items.
(b) Councillor Sipe had an addition to the agenda: Bylaw Control Officer/BC Housing.
2. Motion by Councillor Hunter to approve the minutes from the Committee of the Whole meeting of December 12, 2006. Seconded by Holmlund. Carried.
3. Business arising from the minutes. Councillor Sipe voted against the approval of the minutes.
4. Review of Agenda. N/A.
5. BV Land Consulting Ltd. Hunt Oil proposed Well A-57-E/93-P-2. Brian Vermeulen, public consultant, was present for discussion with Council for the proposed well. Vermeulen explained that the sweet gas well rig will not be visible by the town, will be located on the east side of the ridge. Vermeulen also indicated that there will be no odors, and noise will be very minimal or non-existent. Access to the well will be via the Heritage Highway to the northeast utilizing an old forestry road. The main concerns Council had were regarding the close proximity to the town and the effects of the well. Councillor Hunter commented that the District would appreciate enhanced consultation. Vermeulen responded to say that he would look into Hunt Oil possibly offering tours for Council as well as general updates that the Oil and Gas Commission cannot due to confidentiality. Mayor Caisley welcomed the opportunity and requested dates when this would be possible. Mayor Caisley also said that if there are any changes to the proposed well, Mr. Vermeulen could meet with Council again.
6. Follow up from the ATV Bylaw Public Meeting. Report of Fire Chief/Bylaw Enforcement Officer. Recommendations are:
(1) To increase enforcement of the existing bylaw with the hiring of a new part-time Bylaw Officer. The most important comment throughout the December public meeting was enforcement. With the addition of the Bylaw Officer we will be able to be more visible and respond to complaints during evenings and weekends.
(2) To improve the signage on the existing designated trails.
(3) Require all ATVs to be registered within the Municipality of Tumbler Ridge: -Fees for plates – Fees for annual registration -visible registration plate on vehicle. The fees and fines collected from the enforcement and registration could be used for the improvement and maintenance of signage on designated trail systems.
(4) Restrict the ATV usage:
-Age requirement with safety course (certificate required)
-Prohibit riders under the age of 10 and require riders aged 11-16 to be accompanied by and adult.
(5) Suspend registration for persons violating the bylaw for a set time and if they continued to violate the bylaw and then fines would be doubled and their ATV impounded.
(6) Extend the designated trails along Mackenzie and Monkman to enable the riders from the middle bench to access this trail so that they can use them to exit town. Riders could be permitted to walk their ATV to designated trails. Review the need for additional trails within the benches for easier access to the main trails.
Councillor Sipe commented that the debris on ATV/Snowmobile routes could be cleared. Sipe also mentioned that he had hoped that the reinstating of the walking areas around town would be mentioned as well in point (6). Sipe requested verification of whether or not there was a bylaw officer for ATVs and snowmobiles. CAO Lonny Miller replied that there is not one yet.
Councillor Colledge mentioned that the cement barriers that guard against ATV/snowmobile access seem to be nonexistent. Bylaw officer Dan Golob responded to the inquiry to say that the barriers have been removed from the walkways for snow removal.
Councillor Hunter addressed point (4) by indicating that there is a real need to deal with the regulations for younger children on a provincial level.
Councillor Kirby agrees with all points recommended by Golob in his report.
Councillor Holmlund added a complaint to the list of complaints which is that someone was going up and down Peace River Crescent on a snowmobile for three days prior to the Committee meeting.
Councillor Sipe Commented about the serious conditions in the town regarding the ATVs and snowmobiles. Sipe questioned whether or not there was more flexibility for Fire Chief Dan Golob to patrol the town. CAO Lonny Miller responded to say that Golob put in 300 hours overtime last year alone and that he would not ask Chief Golob to put in more hours. Miller mentioned that tickets and warnings have been issued but that he could not guarantee 100% bylaw enforcement. Miller did say that he would look at making it a number one priority in having a bylaw officer for the ATVs and snowmobiles by the end of this month. Sipe clarified that he was only wondering if they could look at other options, not to request more time of Golob.
7. Councillor Kirby moved to have a closed meeting for Land & Legal items on the agenda. Seconded by Hunter. Carried.
Adjournment 8:15 pm