Trent Ernst, Editor
Present: Councillors McPherson (chair) Litster, Leggett, Caisley and Snyder.
Councillor Snyder asks if the letter has gone to District of Taylor re first responder issue? No, says CAO Barry Elliott, but it is in the works. Okay, asks Snyder, how about the letter re: the music program? Has that gone to school? Again, not yet.
Grant Writer, District of Tumbler Ridge
Sherry Berringer, the District’s grant writer, brings in a list of grants available to District, with a total possible value of close to half a million dollars, ranging from a “Learn and Connect” grant for $5,000 from BC Healthy Communities to a quarter of a million for “Economic Diversification Infrastructure” from Northern Development. “A number of proposals have gone in all ready,” says Berringer. For example, a proposal to BC healthy communities, and a proposal for a grant for signs for trails from Mountain Equipment Co-op, for example. She explains to council what a number of the grants can be used for.
Councillor McPherson says that a couple of these grants (Business Façade Improvement grant from Northern Development, for instance) are business related. He wonders how a business person might find out about the grant, if they aren’t at this meeting? Berringer says that her job is to help the District and non-profits find grants, not businesses. Elliott says this is part of the Economic Development Officer’s position, which is soon to be filled.
Policing Issues and Strategic Planning
Sergeant Craig Learning, Detachment Commander, Tumbler Ridge RCMP appeared before council to discuss how the previous year went, and plans for 2014. “There was a decrease in files in 2013,” says Sergeant Learning. “That’s a good thing. In every category save two, there was a decline.”
He says they had a detachment meeting the previous week to discuss strategic plans for the upcoming year. He says one of the issues that came up was calls for service regarding people with mental health issues. “We had some great ideas around that,” he says. With the RCMP taking the lead, he’s hoping to have an inter agency meeting to figure out how to get them the help they need.
Councillor Snyder says he’s glad to see Constable Bos teaching the D.A.R.E program.
Councillor McPherson jokes that he’s worried that if the number of files keeps going down, we might start to lose RCMP officers.
Councillor Snyder asks if members patrol the highways? The answer is yes, but it is such a big area with so few people that you might not see them. Sergeant Learning points out that there has been no one area that has stood out as a high incidence zone, but if there were, they would set up something there to deal with it.
Peace River Palaeontology Research Centre
Council recieved Correspondence dated February 24, 2014 from STANTEC Consulting addressed to Mike Bernier, MLA Peace River South to express support for the Peace River Palaeontology Research Centre.
Spirit of the Peace funding request
Council deferred discussion to next pnp meeting.
All Terrain Vehicle Map
After last week’s presentation from the ATV club, Councillor McPherson has a map showing old designated routes for ATVs in and around town. The council gathers around the map and discuss some specific issues. Councillor Snyder is still concerned about people racing down Peace River Crescent to get out of town, but Councillor McPherson believes that having a bylaw in place will give people the incentive to ride slowly. He says the next step, if council approves this plan, is to go to the RCMP for discussion. Elliott says the bylaw needs to be updated, and the RCMP will be intimately involved. “The rules are changing provincially, so we’ll be aware of that as we move along.”
Minerals North Conference
Tumbler Ridge has been invited to host conference. They’ve talked to the president of conference and he’s going to email guidelines. However, there’s quite a bit to making an application. Deadline is this Saturday. It would be very ambitious to get this done by then. Councillor Caisley asks if we express interest, if that can be extended a few days. Staff will look into it.
Town Hall Meeting
Councillor Snyder is concerned. “We told the electoral that we would have town hall meetings fairly regularly, and we haven’t had one in a while,” he says. “We have to give them the opportunity to come in and talk with us.”
The last one, he says, was a year and a half ago. “We said we were going to have them quarterly. I’ve been asked by about twenty people why we haven’t had one. We should see how soon we can get one happening.”
Staff says they’ll do some work on this, pulling together the hot topics and finding possible dates. There is some discussion around format. While the last event seemed to work well, with each councillor at a booth, some people preferred the old stand up and ask question model. Staff will look into this, too.
Meeting with Museum.
Charissa Tonnesen, president of the TR Museum Foundation, sent email regarding getting together before AldrichPears meeting. Council sets date for meeting on March 15.
Councillor Snyder says that the contaminated sites issue is a big deal, and he believes that a resolution should be brought forward to discuss this at NCLGA. “Communities could literally go bankrupt trying to meet this obligation.” Councillor Caisley says he would be shocked it this isn’t on the UBCM or FCM agenda, and recommends that staff call and find out if this is something that is on the radar. “Everybody is in the same boat here,” he says.