Last Regular Meeting of Council for 2012 – December 18
By Trent Ernst, Editor
December 18, 2012
Present: Mayor Wren Councillors Hewitt, Mackay, Torraville, Caisley and Snyder (chair)
Staff Barry Elliott, Angie Collision, Candie Laporte, Doug Beale
Policy and Priorities Meeting
Questions Arising from Minutes
A question is asked about the fee for service policy. According to Elliott, they’ve had discussions and it should be ready early next year.
Ed Morash and Ray Proulx from Teck Resources Ltd. came before council to discuss a number of issues upcoming that the District needs to be aware of, including a proposed workshop, community investment announcement and an update regarding construction camp. Proulx says Teck is committed to working out acceptable workforce housing with the District, but we are on the doorstep of needing to make a decision about a work camp. With decision potentially coming down by April, Proulx says Teck needs to be ready for construction starting in May. “Working back from that, we need to get things lined up for the construction camp soon.” Proulx says there are two possible optons. The preferable site is the old thousand man site, adjacent to the main Quintette site, which has already been cleared, so disturbance would be minimal. However, that is Crown land, and Teck will require submission of temporary commercial occupation to use it. Second option is on-site but not cleared.
The second piece of information that District should be aware of, says Proulx, is that with Quintette starting up again, they want to do something that would have direct financial benefit to community, as there will not be as much benefit to the community because the camp will be out of town. “We want to create a vanguard community investment,” says Proulx. They don’t want to provide a direct cash donation, says Proulx, as there are issues around that. “We’re in a better position to provide a contribution to a project rather than to a government entity for perceived loss of revenue,” says Proulx. The total amount of the investment would be $2.2-million. What would that go towards? Says Proulx “We know the district has been looking at infrastructure, new Childcare building or whatever that might be. We look forward to working with the district to define priorities. This would be a welcome gift to the community.”
The third piece is this concept of getting together in a conference format to iron out workforce camp. Teck does feel the proposal is a good proposal, says Proulx, but acknowledges that there are parts of the proposal that the District doesn’t like. “What we’ve suggested here is to get together with an third party facilitator to begin the discussion, and to provide a fresh opinion,” says Proulx. The overarching objective would be to determine whether proposal can proceed, and if so, in what form. “We want to establish mutual understanding with the district and community as a whole and to come out the other end with an agreement.” The meeting would involve representatives from Teck, the district, and members of the public.”
Report: Town Hall Open House
A report dated December 18, 2012 from the Deputy Corporate Officer, titled “Town Hall Open House Summary”, providing Council with the comments and feedback that the public wrote on the flipcharts at the Town Hall Open House, November 21, 2012.
Discussion Item: Tumbler Ridge Museum Report
Aldrich Pears Associates have prepared a report called “Tumbler Ridge Museum: A Review of Issues” providing their assessment of the issues relating to the District of Tumbler Ridge and the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation, which was submitted to council. Councillor Caisley says that, while the report requires more analysis, he’d like to move recommendations at next meeting.
Regular Meeting of Council
Business Arising From the Minutes
Councillor Torraville asks if there has been a response from PNG about the invitation to appear before council? “Yes,” says Elliot, “though a date hasn’t been set.” Councillor Mackay suggests that the BC Utilities Commission also be asked to appear, preferably at the same meeting, to find out why such a large rate increase was approved.
Council Meeting Action Summary Sheet
There are no real new updates. Anything not ready for this meeting will be moved to next year. Councillor Mackay asks what the rationale was behind changing from four lanes to two. Elliott explains that the previous operations manager suggested it, but they’re currently waiting for the new staff to arrive before making any final decisions. Mayor Wren asks why the RFP isn’t ready for a restaurant in the Community Centre. Elliott explains they have it mostly ready, but need to figure out deliverables.
Petitions And Delegations
Dr. Charles Helm was invited to appear before council, so council could recognize his twenty years as a resident of Tumbler Ridge. Mayor Wren says “It’s a rare, rare thing to have a physician come to a northern community and make it home, especially having gone through all the ups and down that we have when the mines closed down.” Wren says that the Helms stayed because of the type of community it is. More importantly, he says “you have helped make Tumbler Ridge the community that it is. We recognize the building you have done, the contributions, the books, the WNMS, the museum.”
To which Dr. Helm responds. “We have appreciated not just this councils but previous councils for shaping the community we live in. We now have two kids at UBC, and there’s rumours of us going to travel. But not having kids have given us more time to invest in the projects we are working. There are medical challenges we are going to face in the next few years, and I want to be here to help guide that. We think the trails are perfect, then along comes the pine beetle. There’s the museum, there’s the Geopark. There’s so much to do.”
Helm also mentioned that there are three others who have been working at the Health Centre for more than twenty years: Beryl, Barb and Gail. “Part of surviving here has been having people of that calibre to work with.”
Environmental Assessment Office
Council received for information a letter from the Executive Project Director, Environmental Assessment Office, notifying Council that British Columbia’s environmental assessment (EA) for the Natural Gas Transmission System – Northeast British Columbia to the Prince Rupert Area has been initiated under section 10(1)(c) of the Environmental Assessment Act.
Ridley Island Terminal Sale
Council received for information a letter from the President of the North Central Local Government Association about the sale of Ridley island Terminal.
Council Remuneration and Expense Bylaw
Council gave first, second and third reading to the Council Remuneration and Expense Bylaw. The bylaw basically bumps up what council makes each year by the annual change in the BC Consumer Price Index. is recommended that this be 2.4 percent for the upcoming year.
Council reallocated $10,000 from the Signal Booster Capital Project to the Boiler Refrigeration Repairs Capital Project.
The cost of the Boiler Refrigeration repairs were higher than expected. Elliott says they’re not sure what caused the damage, but it might have been chemicals stored near. He mentions that the Community Centre is working on creating policies to improve inspection and training so things like this could be caught earlier.
Golf course expenditures
Council allocated $96,000 from small community grant funds to golf course expenditures.
Tumbler Ridge Library Interim Funding
Last year, the Tumbler Ridge library got its funding through Grant-in-Aid. Earlier this year, it became a Municipal Library and a line item in the budget, meaning there’s no provisions for funding between January 1 and the time the budget is approved. Council approved interim funding for the library for five months covering January through May.
December 6 he attended Holly Jolly events. Attended budget pre meeting. He also attended Baptist church Christmas supper, where they invited the Chinese miners. “It was nice to see the welcoming of them to town rather than the negativity that we see in the media.”
Some interesting things coming out of the chamber report. One of the comments that stood out was up to 90 percent felt the district was under performing in attracting and retaining business. Lack of space was number one issue for businesses. But there appears to be interest.
Attended library board budget meetings. They’ve got that ready for us.
Thanks to Caribou Road Service. They get dumped on a lot, but they’ve really stepped up. People are now saying this side of the highway is the good part. Attended pre budget meeting.
Met with person from Lake View about corporate responsibility funds, and there is lots there the community could take advantage of.
Have had several meetings with Dr Andrew Chang. He has purchased a house, and will be doing dental hygiene out of that house. He will be coming before council to discuss his plans in the new year. He attended holly jolly celebration. He has had lots of dialogue with HD Mining and with the unions about injunction. “I’d like to point out that I’m proud of the community and the residents for being open minded and welcoming,” says Wren. “We saw that with people from Australia, from South Africa, from the Philippines and now from China. A lot of the negativity is brought forth by people who are far removed from here.” Mayor Wren has been hearing that there have been people getting out onto the skating oval and sledding hill and damaging them. “We can’t simply keep investing money to repair. We may need to bring forward some severe consequences.” Wren commends the four individuals who have put their names forward for by elections. “I Thank them for interest in our community.” Also, says Wren, “Thanks to public work for all the hard work they’ve done to get the decorations out. Town looks spectacular.”