Policies and Priorities Meeting

Tuesday January 27th, 2009

In attendance: Mayor White, Councillors Wren, McPherson, Beale, Schembri and McManus. Absent, Councillor Mackay

Official Minutes can be obtained from Town Hall.

1. Call to Order: 7:00pm

2. Approve Minutes from Policies and Priorities Meeting of January 12th, 2009- Councillor Schembri would like it noted that the minutes should say the new building that Mr. Vandeburgt is building is designed for ?wheelchair access?. The minutes should not say that he is going to be making changes to his building. Minutes adopted as amended.

3. Business arising from the minutes- Councillor Wren wants to know if there is any news as to when the sound system will be done. Ms. Isaak explained that the company will be coming through town soon but she will call and get a more accurate time line.

4. Review of Agenda- additions to agenda are: 11. Olympic Ski Racing and 12. Budget Review Schedule.

5. UNBC- Community Development Institute(CDI)

Donald Manson spoke to Council about the history of the CDI and the work that they are doing for communities. He explained the CDI was developed in response ? to a need expressed by people?. The CDI is focused on information sharing amongst northern communities and they are also focused on capacity building. By undertaking research, sharing information and supporting ?education outreach?, the CDI is becoming a vital partner with communities interested in making informed decisions for their futures. The three foundations of the institute are research, education and outreach. The CDI tries to ?encourage a flow of information? between communities and they are big advocates for NOT reinventing the wheel. The CDI is currently trying to develop an information sharing system where communities can access information for projects and/or situations that may have worked for other communities.

As a relatively young institute, the CDI is building a resource over time. Manson explained the CDI has developed an ?emergency economic tool kit?. This tool kit explains what to do in an economic crisis. This kit was used when the town of Mackenzie contacted the CDI after the news CANFOR was going to shut down in 2008. This tool kit outlined steps for the town on how to calm the rumor mill.

Comments/Questions:

Councillor Beale: ? For the information database, what time line are you looking at??

Manson explained it would be a long time as ?funders do not like to fund for that stuff.? Beale commented that it sounds like a very useful tool.

Councillor McManus thanked Manson for the information. He also asked, ?what is the CDI?s vision for connecting communities??

Manson explained the CDI would like to ?formalize the process? within the next couple years.

6. Epcor, Re: Quality Wind Project The presentation to Council was made by Jay Shukin, Public Affairs Manager of Epcor, Gary Bowman, who is an engineer with Epcor and Lisa Hewitt, who is an environmental consultant with Hemmera(environmental consulting firm).

The Quality wind project is approximately 142.2 megawatt(MW) project. The project anticipates receiving their environmental certificate by the fall of 2009. The project construction is planned to start 2 yrs from the winter of 2010/2011 and the goal is to have it commissioned by the Spring of 2013.

The area of the project follows along highway 52 which is coincidental. It was explained to Council that the elevation along the highway is the proper elevation for the turbines. The turbines will be offset of about 250-300m from the highway. The turbines are scheduled to be scattered north to south. The project plans to operate for 25 years.

Questions/Comments:

Councillor Beale: ?What are the decibel levels??

Hewitt explained the turbines are about 40 db, which is about the dull noise of a library. This will be included in the environmental assessment.

Councillor McManus: ?What type of fencing is there, if there is a fence??

Shukin explained there would be no fence around the turbines. Hewitt commented the fence will only be around the substation but there may be a temporary fence during construction.

Councillor McPherson: ? Have you built a wind farm in this type of area before and do the turbines scare the animals off??

Hewitt commented there is more sensory disturbance by vehicles and personnel traveling on the maintenance roads.

Councillor Wren: ?What sort of power does one turbine give??

Answer: One turbine gives off 1.8 megawatts and 300-350 homes can be powered by one megawatt. Therefore one turbine has the potential to power approximately 600 homes.

Councillor Wren: ? What is the cost to set up each turbine??

Answer: ?Approximately 2-4 million/megawatt.?

Councillor McManus ?wants to preserve the beauty of Tumbler Ridge for both the residents and tourists?.

Hewitt explained that you will not be able to see the turbines from Tumbler Ridge at all.

Councillor McManus: ? When construction starts, who knows what we are going to find. Have there been any discussions with the museum??

Hewitt explained they are aware of the current dig sites and when construction begins, precautions will be taken and steps will be put in place if there are any other specimens found.

Epcor is committing to hiring local contractors and local people as much as they can. There will be 8-12 permanent jobs in Tumbler Ridge which will result in office space at the work site or within Tumbler Ridge which may be attached to a warehouse. Epcor is also interested in approaching NLC to help train potential workers.

7. Ryan Murray, Re: Information Coordinator

Ryan Murray wrote a letter to Mayor and Council to support Ellen Sager?s request for an information coordinator. Since writing the letter, the Lion?s Club has acquired funding from the federal government, which will be used for some of the things Ellen Sager is requesting. Murray explained to Council that his letter goes beyond senior?s needs. Everyone needs information and access to information. ?There is always room for improvement in communication?.

8. Air Quality-Councillor McPherson

Councillor McPherson has decided to move this topic to the next Policies and Priorities meeting agenda.

9. North Central Municipal Association, RE: Resolution Submissions

Resolutions are a mainstay to conferences and they are a way for Council to put forth their needs and requests to the provincial government.

Mayor White suggested to Council to think about ideas for resolutions to take to the NCMA conference and bring them to the next Policies meeting. He also suggested to think of the resolutions that could solve ?systemic problems rather than specific ones?.

10. Communications

Council has decided to develop a ?Councillors Corner? which will be similar to the ?Mayor?s Musings?. This addition to the Musings should help keep the lines of communication open between Council and the residents of Tumbler Ridge.

Ray Proulx also commented that people can sign up on the website to receive a newsletter.

11. Olympic Ski Racing

Councillor Schembri is working with an Olympic Athlete who will be competing in the Special Olympics in 2010. This athlete, Jeff Foss, is an amputee ski racer. Councillor Schembri expressed an interest to Council about ?adopting an athlete? for the Olympics. She explained that Foss is willing to come up to Tumbler Ridge and talk to students about being an athlete competing in the special Olympics for Canada. Councillor Schembri explained that there would be no monetary commitment(in terms of funding his journey to the Olympics) to adopt Foss as an athlete. Council would perhaps pay for his expenses up to Tumbler Ridge and feed him while he is here.

Also, Councillor Schembri explained General Mills is one of Foss? sponsors and they will be putting his picture on cereal boxes. When this cereal is purchased there will be a code in which you can enter online and this will give Foss 1$/cereal code entered.

Councillor Schembri will be talking to Foss to work out details as to when he may come to Tumbler Ridge.

12. Budget Review Schedule

There will be a budget meeting February 3rd at 5pm and February 5th at 7pm.

13. Closed Meeting Item- Moved to a closed meeting at 9:05 pm

14. Adjourn- 9:05 PM to a closed meeting.