District of Tumbler Ridge Council Meeting
Present: Mayor Wren, Councillors Snyder, Caisley, Torraville, McPherson. Councillor Mackay, Policies and Priorities (PNP) chair
Staff: Barry Elliot, Angie Collison, Candie Laporte, Doug Beale. For regular meeting, Matt Treit and Ken Klikash.
Policies and Priorities
RCMP D.A.R.E: Cst. James Bos, D.A.R.E. Officer appeared before Council to inform them of the work of the program and inviting Mayor and Council to the D.A.R.E. graduation, April 12, 2013 at the Tumbler Ridge Elementary School. He is thanked for picking up the program again, after six years of it not being in town. Bos says there are only a limited number of people who have taken the program, and, since it is a two week commitment to get trained, few detachments are able to commit to getting a D.A.R.E. instructor. “I’ve yet to leave a detachment with a legacy in place, and I’ve yet to arrive in a detachment where I picked up from someone else,” says Bos. Still, the council feels this is important, and a letter will be drafted from the council advocating that Tumbler Ridge would like a D.A.R.E. instructor.
Gordon Graham: Gordon Graham, a Tumbler Ridge resident was to appear before council with two ATV proposals for Council’s consideration, one, to open up access to the Lion’s Campground for ATVs so folks on ATVs could get from the campground into town, and two, to open access to the Golf Course via ATV. Writes Graham in his proposal: “I can take my snowmobile or quad to the parking lot (on approved trail) to the Kinuseo Inn or the Trend Mountain Hotel. From here I can enter either go to the hotel for a meal or walk downtown. Why in the world is the (golf course restaurant) exempt from the privileged access the hotels enjoy?” Graham unfortunately isn’t able to make it, as there is a wake for Denis Payment happening the same night.
Mayor Wren says this is just a piece of a larger issue, and mentions that he is going to appoint councillor McPherson to the recreation portfolio.
Councillor Caisley says “this fits in quite nicely with our diversification strategy. The question is around the legalities of this. We need to know what other authorities we have to go to, and if this is even possible.”
Mayor Wren says he has been doing some work off the side of his desk around some of these issues. “We will need more. I’ve gotten some other information from other communities to find out what they’re doing.”
Site C Dam – Chetwynd Position Paper Responses: Council received information from the Mayor of Chetwynd to the Executive Vice President, BC Hydro, providing a summary of the responses received from the residents of Chetwynd on the Site C dam. This correspondence was sent to all the regional local governments for their information.
Discussion Items: Janet Kennedy, CA, Pacific Northern Gas Ltd., has written a letter outlining the rate regulation process and summary detailing the reasons for the changes in customer delivery rates and commodity charges in 2012 and 2013 for Tumbler Ridge.
The document is ruled as highly technical, and Mr Elliot is instructed to keep trying to get someone from PNG to appear before council.
Petitions And Delegations
Art To Ride On: Anri Scheepers, TRSS student, appeared before council to discuss an “Art to Ride On” proposal, and request permission to do art on the skate park.
In English 11 course last semester, she did a project called Call To Action. “We decided to do this Art to Ride project,” she says. Unfortunately other group members can’t be here, but art council is in support. She has a full presentation outlining the idea. Her group, she says, wants the Skate Board Park as large public canvas. This wouldn’t be a place for free-for-all graffiti, but a place for pre-approved art of all styles. She says that, while things are changing, there is limited public art on display in town. Other skate parks do this sort of art, and the students at TRSS are behind this idea; 100 of 131 students said they supported it and fully half said they’d be interested in helping create the art.
The students want council’s permission to do this. Once they have permission, says Scheepers, they will form a committee with students and local adults to create rules for submissions. Having this sort of art, she says, will hopefully detract people from creating graffiti elsewhere.
Mayor Wren says that this was one of the most prepared delegations he has seen in his time on council. Most of the councillors expressed their support for the proposal, but they will have to bring it forward to the next meeting to actually vote.
Dr. Andrew Cheng, Tumbler Ridge Dental Services, requesting Council give permission to deliver general dental services at 87 Wolverine until a new clinic is built by the summer of 2015.
“If I could get enough support from community, in two years time I could put up a real dental clinic, not just a room in the health clinic. A place where I could work for the next 15 years until I retire,” says Cheng. He says he has a full-time dental hygienist now, but hygiene won’t pay the bills. If allowed to deliver general dental services, he plans to be in Tumbler two weeks a month, with a second dentist filling the other two weeks starting in the summer. The goal is to grow the business to a thousand patients by end of year, says Cheng, which should be enough to get him a loan to set up an office. “This town deserves a new clinic. Something that will last twenty or thirty years. Not something from the eighties that is already obsolete,” says Cheng.
Mayor Wren says they will bring the request forward to next meeting. In the meantime, Councillor Caisley suggests he talk to Peter Thompson at Remax, as he has quoted a price that is about half of what Cheng has been quoted elsewhere.
Ministry Of Health: Council received correspondence from the Minister of Health, thanking Mayor Wren for meeting on September 27, 2012 and passing along concerns about emergency
Teck Coal Limited: Council received correspondence dated January 21, 2013 from the Senior Vice President, Coal, Teck Resources Ltd., regarding Teck’s offer to provide a community investment in the amount of $2.2 million following the approval of the proposed Quintette project.
2015 Canada Winter Games Ambassadors Program
Council received correspondence from the Mayor of Prince George and 2015 Canada Winter Games Board Chair, inviting Mayor Wren to be an Ambassador of the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Councillor Torraville makes a motion to support Mayor Wren as ambassador. Passed.
City Of Prince Rupert Council received correspondence from the Mayor, City of Prince Rupert, to Right Honourable Stephen Harper, requesting the federal government revisit their plans to sell Ridley Terminals Incorporated.
BC Legislative Assembly
Council received correspondence from Blair Lekstrom, MLA, Peace River South, inviting Mayor Wren to attend a meeting March 2, 2013 in Dawson Creek to provide industry representatives with information on a BC based business criteria program.
Street Light Proposal
Council received correspondence from Patsy Antle, requesting Council give consideration to a street lighting proposal for the area of Highway 29 between the intersections of Mackenzie Way and Monkman Way. Councillor McPherson says this is a good idea. Councillor Snyder says this might be something that is a highway’s jurisdiction and need to figure it out.
Building And Plumbing Bylaw Council give first and second reading to District of Tumbler Ridge Building and Plumbing Bylaw No. 600, 2013 to get the bylaw up to date with provincial building codes.
Water Treatment Plant Renovations Funding Council pre-approved the expenditure of $5000 from the 2013 budget to complete the renovations to the office area of the Water Treatment Plant.
District of Tumbler Ridge Signing Authorities Mayor Wren or Councillor Caisley or Councillor Hewitt or Councillor Mackay or Councillor McPherson or Councillor Torraville or Councillor Snyder with one of Barry Elliott (Chief Administrative Officer/Corporate Officer) or Candie Laporte (Chief Financial Officer) or Doug Beale (Operations Manager) or Matt Treit (Fire Chief/Bylaw Enforcement Officer) BE AUTHORIZED as District of Tumbler Ridge signing authorities for financial institution accounts, promissory notes or other financial instruments over a $3,000 value until further notice;
AND THAT any two of Barry Elliott (Chief Administrative Officer/Corporate Officer) or Candie Laporte (Chief Financial Officer) or Doug Beale (Operations Manager) or Matt Treit (Fire Chief/Bylaw Enforcement Officer) BE AUTHORIZED as District of Tumbler Ridge signing authorities for financial institution accounts, promissory notes or other financial instruments under a $3,000 value until further notice; AND THAT Candie Laporte (Chief Financial Officer) and Verna Piercey (Deputy Chief Financial Officer) BE AUTHORIZED to make transfers between financial institution accounts and investment accounts as needed, regardless of value. Passed
2013 By-Elections received for information the report dated February 12, 2013 from the Deputy Chief Election Officer, updating Council with the official results and ballot account of the 2013 by-election.
Lease Agreement Council entered into a lease agreement with Astral Media Inc. for the use of Lot A, District Lot 3164, Peace River District Plan 28608 for a five year term at a rate of $350 per year.
Council and Travel Expense Policies
Report dated February 12, 2013, from the Deputy Corporate Officer titled “Council and Travel Expense Policies” requesting Council approve the changes to the Elected Official Policy EO-5 and Travel Expense Policy TR-2, 2 which council does.
Strata Building Repairs: The CAO prepared a report titled “Strata Building Repairs” providing Council with information that explains the legislative requirements that must be followed as they relate to the repair of complex buildings.
Councillor Caisley asks if this is similar to what other communities in the surrounding area do?
Mr Elliot says the vast majority of municipalities have adopted this, but he can’t speak specifically to the local area.
Councillor Caisley says “It seems to me the ability for residents and businesses of Tumbler Ridge, is very difficult following the guidelines that have to be followed. These are contractors from the surrounding communities, and they can’t change a window. I just want a fix on whether what we do is similar.”
Councillor McPherson says it would be nice if residents were able to change a window without an engineer. “We should be competing on the same level as the surrounding communities. It’s just common sense, which doesn’t seem to be used anymore.”
Councillor Mackay. I hear stories about some of these units, and that they might be compromised. Is that what it’s about?
Mayor Wren says “It’s all done with good intention. We want to protect the District from liabilities we don’t want to assume. We change doors and windows in town every day. I don’t see that big a problem. We’re caught in this thing that just goes on and on. The strata should be able to sign a waiver saying they are responsible for this. When I hear most communities have by-laws like this, I also hear there are communities don’t, and I’d like to know how they do it.”
Office furniture/Operations Manager
Council is asked to pre-approve the Capital expenditure of $2523.79 plus taxes to purchase appropriate office furniture for the Operations Manager’s office. Councillor Snyder asks “Have we checked to see if there are any businesses in town that can do this?” Operations Manager Beale says no. “I don’t think there are any local businesses that sell office furniture?” He is asked to look into it and the recommendation is defeated.
GRANT IN LIEU 2004 – 2012
Council received a report dated February 12, 2013 from the Chief Financial Officer, titled “Grant in Lieu 2004 – 2012” for discussion.
Councillor Caisley says “I find this to be disturbing. I don’t understand why our auditors dating back to 2004 pick up on this and what are we doing to put controls in place so this doesn’t happen again?” Mr. Elliott says “We’ve hired Candie Laporte.” He says that unlike previous CFOs, who didn’t have Municipal training and experience, Laporte does. He then asks her to speak to the issue. She says she has changed processes in the department that if the district hires a CFO who doesn’t have municipal background, there are reminders.
TR Ridge Riders Snobmobile Club
Council entered into a lease agreement with the TR Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club for storage and minor maintenance of the Groomer at an annual rate of $1..
TR DAYS SOCIETY REQUEST
The motion is made that TR Days Society be encouraged to apply for BC Creative Spaces program; AND District labour and resources made available in coordination of the program; AND District and labour resources to transport units to designated areas when needed; AND that direction be given to TR Days Society as to where best possible spaces are to store unit; AND a letter of support for the purpose of applying for BC Creative Spaces grant. The original motion is defeated as there is no cost of District labour and resources. The motion is revised to just the letter of support, which is passed.
2012 Fire Dept. Report to Council
Report dated February 12, 2013, from the Fire Chief received for information.
Councillor Snyder Just returned from holidays, so hasn’t had a lot of things over the last few weeks, but he did attend a seniors needs committee meeting, as well as the Success by Six family day. There were about fifty people there, On Jan 24 he attended regional meeting. He recommends council discussed Fair Share program, “perhaps at a P and P meeting in near future. We would need to look at the funds we receive and look at what impact the loss of those funds would be.”
Councillor Torraville Attended library board meeting. Attended carnival events. Kudos to staff and volunteers.
Councillor Mackay was at a community forest meeting. He says they’re checking maps and cross referencing with town maps. First load being removed soon. Roads going in right now. “After eight or nine years, were seeing results.” One big issue right now, says Mackay, is that when the community forest was mapped there was an overlap between community forest and district. This will have to be looked at and resolved, and the community forest boundaries reworked.
He then pulls out a letter from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, announcing that Mayor Wren is the recipient of a Queen’s Jubilee Award, the fourth and final person in Tumbler Ridge to receive the award.
Councillor McPherson congratulates the mayor on the award. He says he just started, and spent the last week getting his feet wet again. He attended the High on Ice festival with Mayor Wren and Councillor Mackay. “I was surprised by lack of talent that two thirds of our team have,” he jokes.
Mayor Wren says he is shocked and surprised to received the award. “The work we’ve done has been as a team. Work with a very good council. No individual builds a community. It takes council. It takes volunteer and staff.”
He says that a student councillor has been appointed. “The first youth councillor in BC,” he says. The new student councillor is Sydnei Doonan.
He has been in discussions with a charter airline from Vancouver about providing charter flights. “We are getting the attention of people,” says Wren. He says that PRC will have an open house March 12 to discuss expansions there, and he sent out an open letter to the media re HD mining urging all parties involved to come to a quick, mature solution.
He attended meetings around the Geopark proposal. “We’re going to regional district around potential funding.”
He says he has a variety of concerns around the BC housing project, and wants to make sure that agreements that were made are honoured.
There are a number of questions from the gallery around the Strata, but no new information is presented.