September 14th, 2009
Present: Councillors Wren, McPherson, Beale, Schembri and Mackay.
Official Minutes can be obtained from Town Hall
1.Call to Order: 7:00pm
2.Adoption of Agenda
3.Adoption of Minutes for August 17, 2009-carried.
4.Business arising from the minutes: none
6.1 Fortier and Associates ? Ma-M-Way Camp
Fortier and Associated noted in recent correspondence the last six months of ?financial statements for the Ma-M-Way camp have been reviews and the unfavourable analysis has put the future survival of the camp into question.?
Currently, Fortier and Associates pay $10,000/month in rent and $106,605/year for property taxes. At its current activity levels, the high costs are making it difficult to justify the camp being open. The monthly rates have been in place since 2005. The current lease is up on January 31, 2010, with the option for renewal. Fortier and Associates are not behind in rent or taxes, even with their camp being used less.
Fortier and Associates plays an active role in the community by sponsoring events and there is also an employee who sits on the Chamber of Commerce board. Fortier and Associates has requested the District of Tumbler Ridge lower the rent and taxes by 50%.
The community charter prohibits assistance to business and there is no mandate in place within the district to forgive property taxes.
The district is willing to allow for early termination of the contract, as per Michelle Schalekamp?s report. However, the letter sent to council only asked for reduction of fees, not an early release from their contract.
Originally, the camp was supposed to be temporary, explained Ms. Isaak. The company has been in town for many years and it is involved with the community. The rental fee is based on the size of the parcel of land that is occupied, explained Mr. Clark Hazlehurst. Mr. Hazlehurst mentioned if they choose to remove some of the trailers and reduce the size of land occupied, rent may be less expensive.
Ms. Isaak will be in contact with Fortier and Associates to get more information on their long term plans.
1.1Northeast Native Advancing Society (NENAS)
Council received a request from NENAS for their 4th annual ?Endless Possibilities? Aboriginal Youth fair. Council receives several requests for donations and or prizes and have decided not to contribute to this one.
2.2Peace River Regional District (PRRD)
The 28th Annual Peace River Regional District Volunteer Recognition Banquet will be held October 17th, 2009. Council has been invited to make nominations for the awards. There are four categories: individual achievement award, communications contribution award, facility excellence award and organization awards. Council has been asked for nominations ideas. Confirmation of nominations will be done at the regular meeting of council on September 21st.
8.1 Snow Clearing for Handicap and Seniors Residents
The Seniors Needs committee referred this back to Council for discussion. There was a discussion about assisting seniors and the disabled with snow removal from driveways and walks on personal property for those in need.
Ms. Isaak explained this could impact the district?s budget if public works was to follow through with this. She commented the district could help facilitate with this plan if it goes into action by maintaining a list and providing it with service groups and church groups who are wanting to help.
Councillor Mackay commented there is a program like this in Dawson Creek. Councillor Beale is interested on how other communities would budget for a program like this.
Councillor Schembri suggested to use the voice of Council and to discuss it at the upcoming Town Meeting. She also suggested it would be good to link individuals with individuals, sort of like ?adopt a senior?.
Councillor Wren made reference to the grant-in-aids and the possibility of adding a provision of community service to the application process.
8.2 Cart Path from Health Centre to Heliport
Shop Easy had a booth at Grizfest. Mr. Darryl Krakowka, owner of Shopeasy, would like to donate the money the booth earned to assist in creating a cart path to help transport patients to the Heliport.
Ms. Isaak stated it is not a certified heliport. It is for emergencies only, when STARS needs to transport a patient.
Mr. Hazlehurst announced he had spoken to Mr. Krakowka. Considering a cart path would not be the best way to use the funds, Mr. Krakowka is willing to donate the money to assist the Ambulance in some way.
Staff will contact Mr. Krakowka to further discuss options on how to use the money.
8.3 Wood from Forest Fuels Reduction Program
Councillor Wren commented the saleable wood has been marketed and the left over wood from the forest fuels reduction program has been taken to the lagoon. Therefore, what can be done with this wood? Can it be offered to the community to use as firewood?
Ms. Isaak explained she had been in contact with the Municipal Insurance Association (MIA). The MIA advised district to obtain waivers and to limit access to the wood. There will need to be some supervision while the wood is being cut and transported by individuals.
Service groups will have access to the wood first to sell as a fundraiser. Council discussed offering the service groups the wood during a specific time period.. After the time is over, then the wood would be open for the public to cut and use as firewood.
8.4 Monkman Way Crosswalk at Skate-park
The issue of the poorly marked crosswalk on Monkman Way at the skate-park was brought up by Council during the discussion on the sign removal on Mackenzie Way. Councillor Beale commented a clearly marked crosswalk near the skate-park would definitely be an asset.
Mr. Hazlehurst advised Council the cost would depend on the type of lights used. Solar powered lights are cheaper to install than the traditional lights on crosswalks.
Staff will further investigate costs of solar powered lights for the crosswalk.
Highway 52E: Councillor Beale attended a meeting with the Ministry of Transportation to discuss improved sign-age on highway 52 East, particularly around flatbed and the S corners. The signs that have been replaced since that meeting do not satisfy Councillor Beale. In an email from the Ministry, Beale commented he was told the replaced signs are all that we (Tumbler Ridge) are getting. There will be another meeting at the UBCM to discuss this further.
ATV?s: ATV issues within the district of Tumbler Ridge were discussed. Fire Chief Treit and the Bylaw officer, Theresa Vandale, will be looking into the ATV bylaws the Town of Elkford has in place to address ATVs.
5.6Hiring Practices at the Mines
Councillor Wren has been informally approached about local residents not being hired at the local mines. Wren commented he does not want to tell the mines who to hire, but he does think Council needs to voice their opinion of hiring locally.
Ms. Isaak stated MP Jay Hill has received a complaint about the ways in which the local mines have been hiring. Ms. Isaak advised Council the mines need to know about the complaint. She commented there appears to be unfair hiring practices at one of the local mines.
Ms. Isaak will draft a letter to Peace River Coal and Western Canadian Coal regarding the complaint to MP Jay Hill?s office. The letter will be sent to the regular meeting of Council for approval.
9.Question and Answer Period/Comments
Councillor Schembri congratulated Christina Benty, who was elected as the Mayor of Golden in a recent by-election.