Present: Mayor Wren; Councillors Litster, Snyder, Mackay, Caisley
Business Arising from Minutes
The ‘Willow Hall’ draft has been sent to legal counsel and CAO Barry Elliott expects a response this week. An expression of interest notice (for operation of the facility) went into the newspaper.
NCLGA 59th Annual General Meeting – Resolution Submission Deadline
From the Regional Councillor Kim Eglinski, Resolutions Chair, NCLGA, advising the 59th AGM will be held May 7-9, 2014 in Fort St. John. The deadline for resolutions is Mar. 7.
Aldrich Pears – Museum Workshop
Aldrich Pears has submitted two reports to the DTR as follows: Terms of Reference (August 2013) for the operation of the Museum, and a Concept Development Proposal dated Nov. 2013. The Terms of Reference require a Council resolution to adopt, a workshop for goal prioritization is needed, workshop scheduling needs confirmation and costs need to be considered. Representatives Phil Aldrich, Sheila Hill and Tom Commins, as well as a late entry by David Hall, met with Council via a conference phone call. The main point presented by Aldrich Pears, was they felt the museum and the Visitors Centre should be under the same roof, in a central downtown location. The actual research centre, they recommend leaving where it is, but they felt having some paleontological displays along with archeological displays and regional history all together in a museum type format could serve as an orientation centre for visitors. Aldrich himself explains it would give visitors a reason to go downtown. He also stated that in order to upgrade the current facility, it would cost about the same as adding square footage to the planned new Visitors Centre. Council wasn’t sure about that point, but there are no facts at the moment. Aldrich believes the research part of the museum should be funded provincially and federally, not by the District. It is currently receiving some funding from the federal government, but none from the provincial government. Aldrich Pears explains having a visitor’s centre and museum in one located in the downtown area is very common practice in communities. There are some grants available that would suit this type of infrastructure development including economic diversification funding.
There are many lingering questions around how to proceed including the Geopark and the potential for regional funding. The regional district has said they would match municipal funding of the museum for this year.
With the unknowns of the impact of the potential Geopark and regional funding for the museum, Council has decided to bring the Terms of Reference for the Museum prepared by Aldrich Pears to the next regular meeting of council (Available for viewing on the District website), and also prepare a letter to go to the regional district outlining the municipality’s intentions for funding of the Museum for 2014, which until the Fee for Service program is up and running, will remain $200,000 annually. The verdict from the Geopark committee is due in September; so at that point the District will have a better idea of what the new Visitors Centre would need to look like to accommodate an increase in tourism.
Foreign Workers in Tumbler Ridge
Item postponed as councillor McPherson, who requested the discussion, was not present.
The bylaw was presented to Council for their discussion. A section at the end reads, “An administrative office may not be located on the ground floor of a building in the C1 Zone [downtown]. This clause only applies to new construction that occurs after the passage of this bylaw.” Mayor Wren would like to see the wording of this revisited. The intention of the clause was to prohibit administrative offices on the main level in the downtown core, while at the same time grandfathering any current ‘leases’, which are for an administrative purpose. Another area of concern was there needs to be zoning areas defined when discussing the stacking of cargo boxes, as potentially there should be different rules for different zoning areas.
Grizfest – August 2014
The TR Days Society has approached Council in regards to the additional $100,000 in funding they have requested from the District for the Grizfest this year. When the group initially came to Council with this request, they were asked to return with a business plan for Council to look over before Council made any decisions. This has yet to be produced. Council has asked representatives from the Society to attend the next regular meeting of Council to handle this matter. Mayor Wren is concerned about using more of the taxpayer’s money and is wondering if the mines would be willing to contribute as well. The Society does have some ideas for how to change the event for this year, including bundling camping and ticket sales, but the ideas have not been presented yet to Council in a business plan report. CAO Barry Elliott says he will invite the group to the next regular meeting of Council.
Trade Shows and Outdoor Adventure Shows – 2014:
On the agenda this year are the Trade Shows in Chetwynd, Fort St. John and Dawson Creek; and the Outdoor Adventure Shows in Vancouver and Calgary. Administrative Services Manager Aleen Torraville has asked Council to confirm which dates they would like to attend.
Council Meeting – January 21, 2014 – Rescheduling
The regular meeting of Council has been changed to Mon. Jan. 20, 2014 because Mayor Wren and Councillor McPherson will be at a conference, and Councillor Snyder will also be away.