Policies & Priorities Committee Meeting

These are not the official minutes: a copy of the official minutes can be picked up at Town Hall.

March 13th, 2007, Present: Councillors Holmlund (Chair), Hunter (Alternative Chair), White, and Colledge.

Absent: Councillors Sipe, Kirby, and Mayor Caisley

1.) Call to order at 7:00 pm

2.) Motion was made by Councillor White to approve the minutes of Policies & Priorities Committee meeting of February 27th, 2007. Seconded by Hunter. Carried.

3.) Business arising from the minutes.

Councillor Hunter asked Corporate Officer/Deputy CAO Kim Isaac if a letter has been sent to the Chamber of Commerce regarding the auction items for the North Central Municipal Association (NCMA). Isaac confirmed that a letter will be going out.

4.) There was nothing to review from the agenda.

5.) Ward Minifee, STARS General Manager.

Minifee presented a power point presentation to Council regarding a brief history of STARS and what they can offer for the town of Tumbler Ridge and surrounding areas. Minifee informed Council that STARS had their launch date on November 1st, 2006 for the Grande Prairie detachment. On January 28th, STARS began their 24 hour operations.

6.) Captain Jim Murray, Canadian Rangers.

Captain Murray gave a power point presentation for Council outlining the history of Canadian Rangers. He also talked about what the Rangers are doing at present for communities throughout Canada. Captain Murray outlined the Rangers mission, tasks, training, patrol commanders, duties & responsibilities, and what our community can expect in the future. Councillor Hunter commented that it is critical that the community has active participation with the Rangers. Councillor Holmlund asked Murray if the Rangers were called to help with the rescue of foresters who were snowed in last fall. Control Commander Jack Wheeler of the Canadian Rangers, who was also present for the Council meeting, said that they were not called for that mission. Following discussion, there was a short video about the Canadian Rangers.

7.) Captain C.P. DeMerchant, Canadian Junior Rangers.

Captain DeMerchant presented a short power point presentation to Council about the structure of the Junior Rangers program in Tumbler Ridge and surrounding areas. He stressed the importance of adult volunteers within the community as well as support from Council. Glen Miller (Canadian Junior Ranger control leader in Tumbler Ridge) and DeMerchant requested support from Council to find a meeting and storage facility for the Rangers. Councillor Colledge asked Miller where the Rangers are storing their items such as canoes, maps, etc. Miller said that for the time being, the storage is in the basement of the Legion. Miller said that ideally, it would be beneficial for the Rangers to meet and store their items within the same building. Miller said that an example of the size needed would only have to be comparable to about 1/3 of the Council Chambers space. Councillor Holmlund said that Council will give direction for CAO Lonny Miller to look for space and availability around town for long term. Holmlund also requested that Glen Miller submit a formal letter to Council advising them of the needs for the Canadian Junior Ranger program. Hunter added that Miller should also include the financial requirements that the program needs as well. In closing, Holmlund requested that Miller keep Council informed of the kinds of things that the Rangers are doing. Miller said that two Rangers from the program were selected to attend a parade in Ottawa on April 7th to the 10th. They will be going with Rangers from the Peace Region.

8.) Parking fees. Report of Economic Development Officer. Peter Thompson, Real Estate Broker Tumbler Ridge Realty, was present with a colleague, Al Reed of Reed Realty in Grande Prairie to discuss parking fees. Thompson expressed his wish for Council to reconsider the costs of the new cash-in-lieu fees in Zoning Bylaw 517 which was adopted on February 6th, 2007. Thompson commented, ?Council should view not just an automatic acceptance of staff recommendations, but the view of recommendations from others within the Community as well.? He stressed the importance for Council to take into consideration the fact that the businesses that have to pay for the parking fees are small businesses and the costs are too high for their budgets. Al Reed added that changes were made for developers in Grande Prairie when the Grande Prairie Council was approached regarding the same issue. Councillor White suggested that Council revisit the parking fees for discussion at the next available Policies & Priorities Committee meeting. All of Council was in agreement.

9.) Governance Model. Report of Chief Administrative Officer. An email from Stefanie James, Solicitor for the District of Tumbler Ridge, was not added to the agenda. Corporate Officer/Deputy CAO Kim Isaac, handed out a copy of the email report to the Councillors. Councillor Holmlund referred the information to the next available Policies and Priorities Committee meeting so that Council can review the email report.

10.) Claude Galebois Elementary School Rezoning Application. Report of Chief Administrative Officer. There was a letter included in the agenda from Donald Spratt on behalf of Renaissance Canada. Spratt said in his letter that TR Thrift store has been advised to vacate the premises and all other operations have been suspended, including termination of contracts with service providers. The report was submitted for information purposes only.

11.) Meeting adjournment at 9:05 pm.