Policy and Priority Committee Meeting: August 12, 2015

Trent Ernst


Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillors Scott (chair), Caisley, Kirby, Mackay, Howe.



Mark Deeley and Tim Snyder requesting that Council consider the proposal and location of a potential spray park for Tumbler Ridge. The Lions are willing to donate $100,000 to the spray park, if the town were to put it down at the Lions campground. The campground says Deeley, is supervised, so there is always an adult. And, since the park would be slightly out of town, parents would have to be there to supervise their kids. They’ve already got some quotes saying the park would cost about $320,000.

Snyder says it would promote active play and healthy living, so it’s ties into what the town is trying to accomplish.

Councillor Howe says the pool was started by a committee. The real benefit is to have people who are not tied to the district who can provide guidance. The price would come in at $260,000 less than the one the District has been looking at.

As a teacher, says Deeley, the only other place he can see it going is beside the community centre, which is right by school. Kids would be going to the spray park between classes, and coming to class soaking. This might not seem like a big deal, but it will be. “I’d be tempted to go out myself,” he says. “But I couldn’t do my job then.”

He points out that the donation would be contingent on it going down at the Lions campground.

Councillor Kirby is worried that it will draw people away from downtown.

Deeley says it would be free, so you wouldn’t have to stay at the park. And any visitors coming to town are going to be able to get around. “I don’t see it detracting from the downtown location by being down there,” he says.

Mayor McPherson points out that this is Tumbler Ridge, and even outside of town it’s closer to most people than if this were in a city. He asks if there was a location set for the Waterpark in the Canada 150 Grant Proposal?

No says EDO Jordan Wall. He points out that the price is higher in the Canada 150 Grant Proposal, as half the cost would be covered, so it is better to aim high and come in under budget than to aim low and come in over. If you quote high and it comes in under that, says Wall, you still get half. But if you quote low, and it comes in over that, you only get half of the quote.

Snyder adds the quote they got just covers the construction of the spray park, and there would be additional costs to get pipes to the area, which would need to be determined by the town.

Councillor Mackay says the location is a stumbling block. He wants to see it in a location that would benefit the most people, so there is some discussion that would need to happen.

Councillor Caisley asks about the relative remoteness of the location. He is worried that it wouldn’t be as well patrolled.

Deeley says the amount of vandalism you see down there is less than in the down town core. “There, you have people spray painting the bridge, etc. up here, it’s a more expensive style vandalism. Things getting broken, etc.” Deeley says the park would also be gated and locked at night. “Having it downtown would open it up to move vandalism, not less.”

Councillor Howe asks about dust in the area, as well as the slightly older kids biking down to the park. He says there is still an access issue that would need to be figured out, though he remembers that he used to bike down the hill to Flatbed all the time when he was young.


David Conway to provide Council with an update on the Site C project. He provides some background on the project. It would be a kilometre across, he says, and 60 m high, and earth filled.

“We started construction on July 27,” he says. “We are working at minimizing construction impacts. We are starting slow, on the north bank, on BC Hydro owned land.”

In the first year, he says, they are working on road improvements, clearing, fencing, site marking, power, communications, monitoring activities, temporary bridge to south bank, as well as additional field work.

He says BC Hydro is still looking for a main civil works contractor and generator contractor, which they hope to announce later this year. But the worker accommodations contract has been awarded. ATCO will be building a camp for 1600 people. The south bank clearing contract has been awarded, and the north bank site preparation contract has been awarded.

The plan is to provide jobs to as many locals as possible, but job fairs have been postponed after the incident last month.

Councillor Howe asks about the costs. Total estimated cost is $8.35 billion, says Conway. Howe asks if that is public money? It’s ratepayer money, says Conway. Howe says he is worried about what Site C will do to wind power in the Tumbler Ridge area. “If all the proposed projects would go through, we would be producing 300 MW more than Site C at just over $2 billion, and that would be private money.”

Our forecast is down, says Conaway, but there will be a need for power. “You can’t guarantee that you will be able to provide wind at a specific time. This provides 1100 MW of capacity that I can guarantee. You can’t add 1100 MW of reliable wind. Wind and a dam are a perfect match, because you can save water with a dam while the wind blows.”

Mayor asks how people will know about the jobs.  Right now, says Conway, information is being picked up directly by media, while actual companies are out recruiting and advertising.

Mayor says Murray River will feel impact of river boaters, but the current launch isn’t big enough, camping needs to be improved. “How do we convince you to come help?”

Conway says there is a recreation fund available to replace campsites along the Peace River that are being lost, but the fund is not limited to just the Peace River. He says there are opportunities to replace those lost campsites along other rivers. Intent of recreational fund will be to replace lost campsites. He recommends putting it in a letter to BC Hydro.

Councillor Mackay says we were hit right between the eyes with the wind projects that won’t go ahead because of this. Conway recommends putting that in the letter, too.”



Prior to 2010, the concession downstairs in the Community Centre was operated by the Tumbler Ridge Minor Hockey Association. However, due to a loss of volunteers, they were no longer able to operate the concession, so in 2010, Council put out a Request for Proposals for non-profit groups to operate the concession area. The Tumbler Ridge Lions Club was the only proponent, paying ten percent of profits to the District as a license fee. In 2013, the lease was renewed, but the license fee was reduced to $1.

“With the downturn in the economy,” says acting CAO Aleen Torraville, “it may be a good thing to once again put out a request for proposals from non-profit groups to ensure that all local non-profit groups are given the opportunity to operate the concession for fundraising purposes.”

Torraville has prepared a report that offers two options. The first is for Council to direct staff to put out a “Request for Proposals” from non-profit groups to operate/lease the Concession for the duration of the upcoming ice season. The second is to enter into a Lease Agreement with the Tumbler Ridge Lions Club for the operation of the Concession for a license fee as determined by Council upon approval of a lease agreement.

Mayor McPherson asks if there is a policy on this. No, says Torraville.

Councillor Mackay says he is open to putting it out for proposal. That’s not a comment on how the Lions have been running it, he says, but so that there is no hint of favouritism.

Councillor Howe suggests it be for a four year term.

Councillor Kirby suggests calling it the Lions Concession, and be done with it.

Council directs staff to put it out for an RFP.


In March, Council tabled a motion to renew a lease for the Tumbler Ridge Community Arts Council until a report on storage space at the Community Centre. The report is now in. According to it, there are nine spaces that are being leased in the Community Centre. The Tumbler Ridge Youth Service Society has a lease in place until Dec 2016 for the Teen Centre for $1. The Tumbler Ridge Public Library space is leased until Nov 15 2016, for a cost of $1. The Tumbler Ridge Community Arts Council leases Room 2, the art gallery and uses Room 3 for arts council activities, though only if it is not in use otherwise.

The Tumbler Ridge Children’s Centre Society leases their space for $1. The lease expires in Nov 2016. The Tumbler Ridge Oldtimers lease a dressing room for $2,004. The lease expires September 2016. Arrow Vending leases space for vending machines on the lower level of the Community Centre, paying the District 10 percent of gross revenue. The lease expires Nov 2016. The Tumbler Ridge Curling Club leases the Curling Rink and Lounge for $17,561. The lease expires in September. Action Play Café has a lease until April of 2017, paying $26,400 annually. Finally the Lions Club had leased the concession area for $1. The lease has expired.

In addition, groups like TR Cares, Figure Skating, the Quilters and the Soccer Association lease storage closets and other storage areas.

Mayor says there is a problem with storage in the area.

Councillor Howe says there was some discussion about Rooms 1,2, and 3 as a business incubator, but that can’t happen right now the way things are set up.

Councillor Scott says there was some discussion about Sea-Cans for storage.



Cathy Ulrich, President and Chief Executive Director of Northern Health invited Mayor and Council to meet with Northern Health Board Chair, Dr. Jago and Cathy Ulrich during the UBCM Convention. Councillor Mackay says this should be done. Mayor McPherson agrees.


James W. Hammond, OMM, CD, Executive Director for the British Columbia Government House Foundation requesting the District’s consideration in hosting the 2016 Stewards of the Future conference as per the correspondence.

Councillor Kirby says this is very exciting. We need to figure out how to make this happen. Mayor agrees we need to do everything we can to make this happen. Councillor Caisley wants to make sure that we can meet all the parameters.



This item forwarded from the August 5, 2015 Regular Council meeting for further discussion. Jordan Wall says at the previous meeting council had some other ideas to evaluate that they wanted to get to him. Jordan says he hasn’t seen anything.

Councillor Mackay says he sent an email about storing power for up to four days in case of a power outage. Councillor Kirby says she supports the bungee jump proposal.

Wall plays a video shot by Brandon Braam to give a better idea of the area. “Right now there is a chance to get the District’s amount down to 25 percent,” he says.”

Councillor Howe asks what happened to the ask about the Community Forest. Wall says that is already in the works. “When we go back, we are just going point out how important it is to us.” Wall says CDI proposed the silo approach, so this doesn’t affect the other proposals.

Howe says his fear is that the Government will write a $500,000 cheque and the other asks get lost.

Mayor says minister Bond suggested the museum ask, saying the Province needed to do something to help the area. He doesn’t believe this will affect that.

Councillor Scott asks about the road to Kinuseo. Wall says he believes that it is as high a priority as it’s going to get. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure works on five year plans, he says. The best hope is to start seeing things happening in six or seven years.

Councillor Howe asks who would be responsible for the upkeep on a suspension bridge, and what is the cost of insurance? Wall says these are questions that need to be addressed, but first he needs something from Council to move forward with that. Councillor Caisley says he’s for going ahead. Councillor Mackay and the mayor agree.

Councillor Howe asks what the Geopark Committee thinks about it. Wall says they are excited about it.

Howe asks if there will be a toll. Wall says again, this needs to be determined.

Councillor Scott asks about the road. She also asks about ATVs crossing on the bridge. Wall says this will have to be discussed.

Mayor says he doesn’t want it to be ATV accessible, because of the worries about ATV and pedestrian conflicts, as well as damage.

Councillor Scott asks about the geology of the area.

Councillor Mackay says a 320 foot bridge for ATVs seems a little scary.

Howe says it’s a bridge to nowhere. “It doesn’t go anywhere,” he says. “In fact, I would go for anything else besides this. I’d love to hear another option.”

Wall says this came up before. The reason this is shelf ready is because Councillor Kirby brought it forward and pushed it ahead. If council wants to see more shelf ready projects, they need to do the same. They take a vote on whether to proceed. Four members of council are in favour.


Policy for discussion and review as requested by Council.

Councillor Howe asks what policy is if there is an incident. His reading is that it is up to supervisor. Yes, says Torraville. She says there’s a lot of legal wrangling and it is a sensitive issue. Howe says it’s more an issue if something happened. He wants to see the policy expanded to be very specific in the case of an incident.

Howe asks how many post incident tests happened last year. Torraville says not many, but she would have to get that info.


Policy for discussion requested by Council. Torraville says the policy does need to be updated.  Councillor Caisley says the line that annual performance reviews will be destroyed at the end of the year  bothers him. He says some discipline items happen progressively, and none of this will be on the record as documentation. He also wants to see the end date in the employee contract removed for regular full time and part time employees.

Councillor Howe asks about retention bonuses for some of the key management positions, as there is a lot of turnovers.


A discussion on bears requested by Council. Councillor Kirby says as Councillor Scott was driving her home, the black bear was in the street. She asks how long does the bear have to hang around before something is done? Torraville says the Conservation Officers know about the bear, but as long as he doesn’t become a problem bear, there’s nothing they can do. They don’t relocate. They just destroy.

Councillor Howe says he wants to see a policy and a flow chart.

Mayor McPherson says the trouble is we have to wait until someone gets hurt.

Councillor Kirby says she’s not waiting two weeks on this. “You’re going to hear a gunshot.”

Councillor Scott says there should be a bylaw against feeding wild animals. Bringing in deer brings in the predators.

Mackay says black bears generally ignore humans.


This item requested from the August 5, 2015 Regular Council meeting. Mayor says this has to do with wash bay. He says there was a local business that was able to do it. Now they have to do engineering on it and put it out to an RFP, adding to the expense.

Councillor Mackay says District needs to get word out that local contractors need to have the proper documentation, their web, their insurance.

Councillor Kirby says the Council asked for an RFP not to add on the cost of engineering, but to see if anyone else around wanted to quote and was willing to get their insurance and Worker’s Compensation.

Councillor Howe says this was never designed to bring in people from out of town. He says the climate has changed in town over the last year. “How do we know who is in town? Who has WCB, who has all this stuff, who might be willing to bid on this now? I’m a little pissed off about this, actually, because why do we need more engineering for this when we had engineering last year.”

Building Manager Ken Klikach says the company that bid did the design and engineering, and the District can’t use their design and engineering.

Howe says he still doesn’t see the issue. “When they bid on it before, didn’t they provide the engineering? If we put this out again, won’t they provide their engineering again?”

Caisley says he’s not seeing it either. “You define the parameters in the RFP. It should be a straightforward process.”

The issue, says Klikach, is that last month, Council decided not to use an RFP process, but a tender process, which means the District is responsible to design the project, then put it out for tender, because they didn’t like the way the RFP process worked on the Visitor Information Centre.

Torraville points out the policy is under review, and should be coming forward very soon.

Councillor Scott says the requirements are not new for valid businesses. She thinks putting it out for bid is fair. “Do we want to be open for business, or do we just want to give out jobs to the people we know?”

Councillor Howe asks what the difference is between a tender and an RFP. Ken says with a tender, the District comes up with the design and requirements, then has people bid on that project. In an RFP, the company comes in with their own ideas, and every quote is different.

Councillor Mackay says they could change the numbers in the purchasing policy at the next meeting, to take care of this.

Councillor Howe says the reason things would go to tender was to have them ready so we can chase grants. “In the situation of the wash bay, there are no grants, so shouldn’t it go to RFP?”

Proposal to put ad in paper saying if you have your qualifications, come in to Town Hall so you are on the list.

Ken says last year, he put out five RFPs, and that took three months of solid work. He says it’s a very time intensive process.