Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillors Caisley, Howe, Scott, Mackay
Petitions and Delegations
TR RIDGE RIDERS SNOWMOBILE CLUB – GRANT IN AID
Chris Dell came before Council to discuss the TR Ridge Riders Grant in Aid application. He was joined by Randy Cutler. The club received a grant from PRRD for cabin at Babcock and hand slasher. They have received tenure for two areas. Now, they are looking for a grant for a new groomer from the District.
The club’s current groomer is old. So old they’re not sure when it was made, but they think it was 1972. The club has had the groomer since the early 1980s, and says Dell, it’s showing its age. He says parts are hard to come by, because it’s so old. The drag is getting holes and they have put thousands and thousands of hours on the machine He says it is still running and doing the job in the Core Lodge area, and is used for grooming the trail ten to 15 times per year, but with increased demand by riders grooming needs to be increased, too. On an average weekend, he says, the Core Lodge can see up to 50 riders a day.
So, he says, the club is looking for a used groomer, which can run from $45,000 to $80,000. Not only would it help the club, but it would be beneficial to Search and Rescue, as the current groomer is not reliable in emergency situations.
Councillor Howe says their total request is $100,000. “When should we expect to see the Ridge Riders back in here?” he asks. Probably not again, says Dell. “This is the first time in the club’s history we’ve come in to request aid. It’s a big purchase.”
Councillor Scott asks if the club is planning on implementing trail fees, and when they would go in. When the new groomer is here, says Cutler.
Councillor Howe asks where groomers are stored in summer. Right now, the groomer stays at the Core Lodge, says Cutler. There is some vandalism, but it isn’t too bad.
Mayor says he’s driven the groomer, and fixed the groomer, so he knows what they’re talking about.
Councillor Caisley says snowmobiling was a serious attraction in 80s, and is becoming so again. He thinks it is a good investment.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Stephanie Janes and Donna Merry, representing the Chamber of Commerce came to provide an update for Council. Merry says in 2013 the Chamber came back, in 2014 it continued to grow and it 2015 it matured. Last year, she says, the club held a not-profit management workshop, the board and members attended the visioning workshop, they developed new mission statement and pillars, attended the Destination BC conference in Prince George, and the BC Tourism Conference in Vancouver as well as a number of Community Engagement Activities. They participated in TRMF Five Year Master Planning session, organized BC Hydro Job Fairs and hosted interagency meetings. They hosted community events such as the multi-cultural festival, regional poker rider, Oktoberfest, and the Federal election all-candidates forums. They also managed VIC operations.
2015 Stakeholder Activities included attending local Council meetings, hosting informational breakfast sessions, participating in Regional trade fairs and hosted Business Treasure hunt. In addition, they promoted the chamber with local and regional businesses, and moved into the new VIC.
Operationally, in 2015 they increased the hours of service at the Visitor Information Centre. They are now keeping the VIC open over winter for six hours a day. “We did this to see what kind of response we’d get,” she says, noting that it has been quite strong.
In 2015, they increased the number of chamber members, the number of visitors and the sales of local items at the Visitor Centre.
In 2014, says Janes, they had 5,191 visitors. In 2015, that was up to 9,862. Some of those people were locals coming in, to check it out and to buy things. Merchandise revenues rose from $4172 in 2014 to $14,000 in 2015, a 300 percent increase.
“In 2015 the Chamber has increased organizations capacity, accountability, memberships, visitor numbers and revenue,” says Janes. “Our goals for 2016 is to continue to increase chamber memberships, continue to increase VIC sales and continue to increase visitor numbers.” She says already this year the Chamber has 42 members, and it’s only March. They are hosting a Lunch and Learn Business Development Sessions in partnership with Community Futures, and at the end of the month, the TV show Still Standing from CBC TV will be in town to do a showcase of Tumbler Ridge.
She says the Chamber is in the process of developing a new Business Directory and Business Map. They are also working hard to get a Job Creation Partnership up and running this year. “We tried to get 12 people employed last year, and are working on getting it going this year. We are working in combination with Work BC and the District, as it is meant to be a partnership. There needs to be buy-in from community and industry. Chamber has committed to this, and Pattern Energy has already built a pad out at Moose Lake for the shelter.”
TR YOUTH SERVICES SOCIETY – FEE FOR SERVICE
Roxanne Gulick, president of the Youth Services Society, came before Council to present regarding their Fee for Service application. She is joined by Lloyd Frank, vice-president. She says they were here in January, and gave a rundown on what they do, so she won’t go over that again, but she provides a quick update. She says the attendance numbers are still strong. 90 percent of teens from high school attend in some way or another. In March, they took one day a week exclusively for the younger kids to attend. They went on a trip to Powder King. In the near future, they are planning to clean up Lions Campground, attend Chetwynd Chain saw carving, etc. The whole point is to provide a safe place for kids, and to give them something to do. “Without your support, we can’t do that,” she says.
She reminds Council that they used reserve funds to get through this year, but don’t have enough to carry on.
Councillor Mackay asks about leadership responsibility for teens. Do they get to organize events? Kids take the lead, says Gulick. They will DJ the event and run the door. “They basically do the whole thing, with supervision.”
Lloyd Frank says he just did the skiing trip, and helped the kids out with lift fees and transportation. “We’ve been doing this since the year started,” he says. “They appreciate it, but we can only help them so far. That’s why we’re here before Council. Most of the money we raise goes to the kids. We only have one person hired. We want to go on more trips this year. The idea is to get more involved. We’re pushing to get them involved, but kids only do so much. We had a youth council last year, but that kind of fell apart. We want kids to organize their own events. We want them to tell us what they want, not have us tell them what they get.”
Caisley says this is important for the community.
TUMBLER RIDGE DAYS SOCIETY – GRIZFEST
The TR Days Society Committee sent a letter requesting the 2016 Fee for Service funds in the amount of $55,000 be released in full so that the Society can proceed with their preparations. Councillor Scott recuses herself. Councillor Howe asks what it was last year. A motion is made, then amended, as they need to waive the Fee For Services Policy. Motion passes.
REVITALIZATION TAX EXEMPTION AMENDMENT
The “District of Tumbler Ridge Revitalization Tax Exemption Amendment Bylaw No. 629, 2016” had its first and second reading and notice will be given to the community regarding the proposed amendment to Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 570, 2010 in order to obtain public input on this amendment.
DISTRICT OF TUMBLER RIDGE INVESTMENT REPORT
To provide a report to Council on the investment progress for the District of Tumbler Ridge for the period ending January 31, 2016. However, a lot of operational time goes into this, so Staff wants to see this move to semi-annual investment performance reporting. Wall says the investments the District holds shouldn’t see major changes. A motion is made to move to reporting semi-annually. Howe says he wants to see it stay monthly, as it fell off the page before. However, motion passes. Howe and Scott against.
COMMUNITY CENTRE STORAGE
There are eight leased spaces and 21 leased storage spaces in the Community Centre. This had become a topic for discussion, as there is not enough space in the Community Centre to store actual Community Centre stuff. This report came before Council for discussion with the recommendation that the proposed storage building for the Community Centre be removed from the budget and that, when leased storage areas expire, they should come before Council so Council can determine if they want to renew the lease.
MINOR HOCKEY – TICKET BOOTH
The District received a request from the Tumbler Ridge Minor Hockey Association to use a space in the Community Centre, formerly known as the Ticket Booth, for a three (3) year term to use as a central office for the hockey association. In the past, Tumbler Ridge Minor Hockey rented a closet in the Community Centre concession area to store files. Over the years they have asked their volunteers to store the printer and computer at their homes which is creating hardship for the association. Tumbler Ridge Minor Hockey is looking for a larger space to store the computer, printer and files and have requested the use of the ticket booth. There was some discussion about using the office upstairs, but, the Minor Hockey association has indicated that they would prefer to use the ticket booth and are not interested in the Programmer’s office. Council agrees to enter an agreement with the Tumbler Ridge Minor Hockey Association to lease the ticket booth space for their use as a central office and directed staff to prepare a three (3) year lease agreement for both parties to agree and sign, and to perform modifications needed to provide a secure space. The fee for this is $400.
Councillor Mackay attended a Community Forest meeting. They have put together annual report, which will be available shortly. He says congratulations to Mr Leggett for completing his certificate.
Councillor Scott had phone call regarding Northeast Coalition, hoping Tumbler Ridge would rejoin. She chaired Building Healthy Communities Meeting. Submitted an article for NCLGA.
Councillor Howe has been talking to Pattern Energy. Sounds like March 28 will be first load of turbines.
Councillor Caisley has nothing to report.
Mayor McPherson would like to make a motion to send a letter of support for the South Peace Rally.