Trent Ernst, Editor
Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillors Caisley, Kirby, Howe, Krakowka, Scott, Mackay
PETITIONS AND DELEGATIONS
TUMBLER RIDGE YOUTH SERVICES SOCIETY (TRYSS)
President Lloyd Frank came before Council to provide an update on the activities of the TRYSS (Trent Ernst is a member of the TRYSS board). He was joined by Roxanne Guilck and Dawn Wagner.
This is not, says Frank, him coming before Council to ask for anything. They did put in an application for a Fee for Service grant for this year, and the amount is higher than in the past, but he just wanted to keep Council abreast of what the Society has been doing.
The centre is becoming more important for teens in Tumbler Ridge. With a lot of people out of work, the Teen Centre is picking up the slack. There is not a lot of disposable income, so the kids are coming to the teen centre. Since the start of the school year, 155 different teens have visited the Youth Centre so far. “That’s 90 percent of the total number of kids who are attending school at TRSS,” he says.
They also have some kids from the Elementary School, as well as some grads from last year who show up, but the majority are TRSS students.
So far this year, the centre they have held a KGB night, a Mexican Night, and the Teen Centre sponsored a number of teens to attend the Banff Mountain Film Festival. “We have been paying for this out of our own budget,” says Frank. “From the money we’ve fundraised and from what we make off concession, but for the next year, we are hoping to do even more for the kids.”
Frank says depending on the event, different numbers show up. For a KGB night, there can be close to a hundred kids. But on the average night, drop-in numbers is between 15 to 25 kids.
“This says to me they need someplace to go,” says Wagner.
She says special events, like skiing and KGB, attract more kids. In the past, they used to charge the kids a few dollars for snacks, but they don’t do that anymore as many of the kids can’t even afford this.
One event planned for the upcoming year is to rent the skating rink. “We used to not see kids on the weekend because they’d be out doing stuff, but now, they are showing up because they can’t afford to do anything else.
Councillor Krakowka asks if the centre would be interested in running the concession at movie nights as a fundraiser.
Frank says the society couldn’t afford to rent the movie, but if it was something that the District wanted to pass on to the Youth Centre, it would probably work, as they are trying to provide work experience, too. Wagner says the kids run the door at dances, run the concession during the day. “We supervise, but they sell the stuff, they collect the money and get paid an honorarium with that.” As well, they’ve had work experience students in there.
Krakowka asks if the Fee For Service includes wages? Yes says Frank. He says other costs are rising as well; the insurance is going up. “But we want to provide more opportunities for the kids.”
Councillor Mackay says he’s glad for the heads up. He says his two boys had a good experience when they were there. Frank says he doesn’t want to do anything behind anyone’s back.
MINISTRY OF FORESTS, LANDS AND NATURAL RESOURCE OPERATIONS
Minister Steve Thomson sent a letter acknowledging the District of Tumbler Ridge for their efforts to foster economic diversification. He also wrote that the timber supply review for the Dawson Creek Tumbler Supply Area has been completed and is under review. Ministry staff will keep Tumbler Ridge officials appraised of developments.
Councillor Caisley says it sounds like the Minister is suggesting setting up another meeting, according to the letter. “Since we have scheduled a meeting to discuss our strategic priorities, it might be worthwhile to table a response to this letter until after that discussion. I would move we table this until after that meeting.”
Mayor says he has heard they are making a decision on this very soon. Aleen Torraville says it is her understanding there is a meeting scheduled for January 14, which the Mayor is scheduled to be at. Councillor Mackay says it’s great to have the mayor attending, but it should be spearheaded by the board for the Community Forest. Councillor Caisley says his concern is the Ministry has opened the door to hear back from the town, and it would be good to have that information in hand.
Mayor says he agrees, but he doesn’t want to miss the deadline, either. Torraville suggests tabling this until the next P&P meeting on January 11. Councillor Caisley suggests having a meeting with the Community Forest before that. Councillor Mackay says a decision on this is coming up very soon, and he wouldn’t be surprised if it came down before the January 14 meeting. Councillor Mackay makes a motion that the issue of the Community Forest expansion be discussed at the next meeting. Councillor Kirby says this is one of the town’s key strategies, and a letter to set up a meeting should be sent off now. Mackay withdraws his motion, as that’s a lot more common sense.
GAS TAX AGREEMENT COMMUNITY WORKS FUND PAYMENT
Correspondence received from the UBCM informing of the transfer of funds being made in accordance with the Administrative Agreement on the Federal Gas Tax Fund in British Columbia.
Diane McSherry, Vice President & Project Manager for the Site C Clean Energy Project sent a notice of Site C Construction Activities for January through March 2016.
Councillor Caisley says his understanding is the vast majority of hires will be done by the companies that were awarded contracts. So when he took a look at the contracts that were awarded—there were four—they also indicated the contractors that were awarded the contracts. They have the contact info for these contractors. He wonders if Council would be interested in inviting them to set up a job fair so our residents have the chance to get hired.
Councillor Scott says they had a job fair a few months back; they had two contractors then. “We could attempt that again, but I’m not sure how the first one went.” Caisley points out that Peace River Partners were awarded the main civil works contract after that job fair. “The more pressure we put on them, the better the chance of our residents getting hired.” Mayor says a job fair might not be worthwhile, as most of the residents in town should have their resumes in front of these people already, but if we wanted to invite them to appear before Council. Caisley says there are residents who might not have had a chance to get their resumes in.
Councillor Howe says he’d love to send out a letter saying come to Tumbler Ridge and see if we can get more people working.
Councillor Scott says if there is a job fair, it would be nice to do a huge one, and get all the industries involved, like the wind energy companies, etc. Rather than go to a bunch of small one, it would be nice to have a large one. Maybe that’s something to look at around the strategic planning.
Mayor says Site C is a large enough project on its own.
Motion to invite these companies passes.
CITY OF FORT ST. JOHN
Mayor Lori Ackerman invited members of Council to participate in the High on Ice Festival 2016 – Mayor’s Ice Carving Challenge taking place in Fort St. John on Saturday, February 6. Mayor says Council missed it last year. He’s willing to attend, but it is best to have a couple other Councillors, too. Councillor Mackay and Councillor Kirby both say they are able to do it. Mayor makes a motion to approve travel expenses. Passes.
MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
Minister Stephanie Cadieux sent a letter, informing Council of resources available to municipalities to support the expansion of child care programs.
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT
Anthony Danks, Environmental Protection Division of the Ministry of Environment, wrote a letter, advising of the world class spill response regime being created by the province.
WILLOW DRIVE DEVELOPMENT – REQUEST TO EXTEND COVENANT
Council authorizes a further one-year extension of the construction timing requirements contained within the development covenant for the 417 Willow Drive. The revised deadline is January 3, 2017.
Back in February, developer Guy Jean requested removing the two year covenant relating to finishing off this project, as the housing market had recently collapsed. He changed his request to an additional two year extension. Council discussed the extension, but the recommendation was tabled until staff negotiated with the developer about cleaning up the property, as well as issues around paving and occupancy.
The property has been cleaned up, paving and some landscaping has been done and a permit for occupancy was issued as of June 18, 2015. As a result, the request for a one-year extension came back for Council’s consideration.
Councillor Howe points out that when Council asked him to clean the site up, they did a great job. “No reason to not help this guy out when the other guys aren’t doing anything.” Mayor agrees. “He went over and above what we asked.”
Schedule of Meeting
A motion is made to change time of start of all Council meetings to 5 pm on Mondays. Passes.
Councillor Mackay enjoyed the Holidays, as did Councillor Scott. Councillor Krakowka says he wants it noted that his District email isn’t working so everything needs to go to his personal email. Councillor Caisley says he enjoyed Christmas, but nothing to report.
Councillor Kirby attended pancake breakfast at the high school and Christmas Light Up at the museum. Glad that Minister Bernier was able to visit the fish farm. She attended the Geopark meeting. They are submitting a grant application on opening up the Monkman Pass Highway trail. They said they understood the District had agreed to sponsor $20,000 towards the project, but wants to confirm that. They are also looking at funding opportunities to increase educational opportunities for younger people.
Discussed Geopark conference; will be sending manager Sarah Waters. She makes a motion to temporarily put up mountain view signs at caboose. Krakowka says his concern is that the Golf Course asked to put up signs, the ATV club asked to put up signs, both are on hold until after branding exercise. Councillor Kirby says putting up the signs temporarily gets them out there. “They’re doing no good sitting in the closet.”
Councillor Caisley says his recollection was that the application of signage be consistent, so rather than putting up the signs, investigate what it would take to do so. Motion passes, Councillor Scott and Caisley opposed.
Councillor Howe met with Meikle Wind. They are planning on extending fibre optic line out to the site. This means that the fibre optic line will run past Lion’s Campground, Boat Launch, Bullmoose turnoff, etc. They are putting up an office on-site. Mayor says the argument on putting the office on-site was there was no way to read the towers in town; this might change that.
Mayor McPherson has nothing to report, but hopes everyone had a happy holiday.