Regular Meeting of Council: March 4, 2015

Trent Ernst, Editor


Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillor’s Howe, Krakowka, Scott, Kirby, Mackay, Caisley

Before the meeting started, Diana Vandale was presented with the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal for her 20 years of service as a firefighter.



Dan Ferguson came to speak to council re: the TRSS field. The condition of field has deteriorated over the last number of years, he says. There are holes, there are spots where grass doesn’t grow. He is looking for some type of maintenance program for that. “Every year there is an ankle twisted or a knee blown,” he says. “There has been, as far as I know, no maintenance on it since the mid-90s.”

He says back when he first came to town in the early 90s, the field was one of the nicest he’s seen, but it is no longer in very good condition.

Councillor Mackay agrees. At the last year’s soccer tournament, he says, there were holes that looked like they had been dug by dogs. He says the field is way past due for having a facelift.

Councillor Caisley says he thought it had been dealt with. That it was a go.

CAO Barry Elliott says he remembers some discussion but nothing was ever done.

Operation Manager Doug Beale says they have been looking at the field for a long time. It has suffered damage from fireworks, from the musical ride, from Grizfest. Beale had requested a review last year, as there’s major work needed and it isn’t something public works could do. “The grass is dead in places, and the base is damaged,” he says. “It will require a complete overhaul. At the time, I requested having our civil engineer look at it, but nothing was ever done.”

Councillor Caisley asks if this is going to be a part of the budget, because I haven’t heard it come up yet.

Elliott says that’s something that Urban Systems will be working with us as we no longer have the internal talent. “It’s not in the capital budget,” he says, but the core budget.

Councillor Howe asks if the District is responsible for the TRE field as well, as it is also pretty beat up. Nobody knows.

Councillor Howe suggests the District may need to talk to Grizfest, as if there needs to be work done on the field they might need to move this year.

Councillor Krakowka asks if this could be tagged as a line item in the budget, along with the work that needs to be done on the VIC.

Mayor McPherson asks about watering. Is there infrastructure there?

Dan says there is, but it has been disconnected. He doesn’t know if the system is still usable.

Mayor asks if damage comes from musical ride.

Dan says no, the portable fire pits from Grizfest, and a bunch of other stuff. A few years back they ran the street sweeper over the field a few years ago to pick up the debris, but that hasn’t happened lately, either.


Regards to the proposed changes at the Aquatic Centre. See story elsewhere.



Crys White wrote a letter expressing concerns about converting the Tumbler Ridge Aquatic Centre to a chlorine system.


Larry White wrote a letter explaining his concerns of converting the Tumbler Ridge Aquatic Centre to a chlorine system.



Council awarded the Tender for Electrical Services to D&S Electrical for the remainder of 2015 year with the option of renewing the contract for an additional two (2) years and the Mayor and Corporate Officer were authorized to sign the Standing Offer Agreement.


Council directed staff to draft a letter to BC Hydro urging them to cease their practice of discounting the price of electricity produced in Northeast BC for their Standing Offer Program and any future power calls.


Councillor Krakowka recuses himself, as he’s a member of the Lions Club.

Aleen Torraville explains that she got a request from the Lions Club to use the Community Centre as a backup in case of bad weather for the Easter Egg hunt. In conversation with staff, she was told that was the weekend the ice was coming out. With the ice coming out that weekend, she couldn’t with good conscience allow the Easter Egg Hunt to come in that weekend. “We bend over backwards for community groups, including the Lions,” she says, “but…”

Councillor Mackay suggests the curling rink, but the ice is coming out of there as well, and there is a wedding in there that weekend.

Councillor Kirby asks if staff needs to be on hand. Elliott says yes.

Councillor Caisley says it’s not a matter of choosing another location in the Community Centre, right, because if so, there’s still the issue of staff.

Elliott says there’s a couple issues: safety and cost. If Council wishes to pay staff, that’s their prerogative. But overtime is voluntary, not mandatory, so finding people might be tough, as that is a long weekend and people might be out of town.

Councillor Scott asks why it’s an issue this year, as it hasn’t been in the past? It is because the ice is coming out at that time. In previous years Easter has been later, and so there hasn’t been that issue.

Councillor Mackay says he was at the Easter Event two years ago, and it felt like every child in town was there. He says it would be a shame to see it canceled. He says he’s not worried about triple time, but if the District can make it safe, then he is all for it. Councillor Howe agrees. He wonders if they can utilize the library, rooms four and five, etc. “Do we need to have Library staff, then?” Answer: yes.

Councillor Scott asks if it would just be four hours allotted? Elliott says they would have to discuss it with the union.

Councillor Howe asks if there is another place in town? The High School? Elliott says that discussion would have to happen between the Lions and the School District.

Mayor McPherson says he thinks its Council’s direction to try and have this set up. Councillor Mackay makes a motion that staff do what they can to have the Community Centre available as a backup for this event. Motion is passed.


Councillor Mackay attended the budget meetings and the strategic planning meeting, where a lot of good ideas were generated.

Councillor Scott attended budget meetings and strategic planning. Is on environment portfolio and has been invited to sit on Murray River Watershed steering committee. She attended the Pink Shirt day at high school with Councillors Krakowka and Kirby.

Councillor Krakowka went on a storage tour of the Community Centre and new RV bathroom tour. Had Meeting on Feb 24 with users of Willow Hall. Attended Pink Shirt day on Feb 25. Missed the Strategic Planning meeting, but was able to attend the Atoms hockey tournament. March 2 attended Canadian Junior Ranger meeting at Willow Hall. Today attended first library board meeting. Right after that he went to the Success by 6 meeting. Alphabet crawl program was down to four kids, but is back up to 13 or so. However, the TRCCS is going to have to close down after school care during spring break as they will only have one kid in town.

At the Library meeting it was mentioned that the library was bringing in a hoop dancer, and they were hoping that there would be no cost. Because it falls on a We Love Kids Day, there’s a $5 cost for hot dogs, etc. He is hoping the District can pick up the costs on that.

Councillor Howe attended ATV club meeting. They’ve got a whole slew of creative tourism ideas that align well with the Geopark. For instance, they want to put a trail in from around the gun range over to Quality Lake. Mike Bernier has suggested there might be some funding for campsites. He says he’s been busy with budget meeting. He went and did a tour of the Meikle Creek Wind Site. “It was a self-guided tour.” He says thanks to community for excellent support. Close to 500 people in the stands. Big thanks to Lions for running concession. Big thanks to BC ambulance; one of the players hurt her leg and had to go to Grande Prairie. It was great to see the Community Centre being used. There was the hockey games, there was curling, there was dancing up in rooms 4 and 5. He asks about the difficulties with email.

Elliott says it has been a complete disaster, but the tech was on site today, and will be here tomorrow. That process is underway.

Councillor Kirby says “Wow. We’ve been busy. It’s been a sports-filled month for me.” She was out cheering the TR Basketball team at Zones held here in town, then went to winter games to promote Tumbler Ridge there. She was at the Pink Shirt day, attended budget meetings, planning, etc., had a phone meeting today with MTST, and took in the hockey tournament on the weekend. “It was so fun to watch,” she says. “I Love seeing the community get behind the kids.” She says the skating carnival this weekend will end her couple weeks of sports.

Councillor Caisley says most of what he’s been doing has already been said. He met with Jordan Wall re: the Sustainability Plan, which will come forward to an P&P meeting in the near future. He attended Junior Ranger Meeting, the budget meetings and the planning session.

Mayor McPherson says he’s been at so many meetings lately, he forgot about the Winter Games. While there, in addition to promoting Tumbler Ridge, he had the opportunity to take in a wheelchair basketball game. “That’s one of the roughest games,” he says. “They just run those wheelchairs into each other.” He gave out the silver medals for the game. “That’s the worst medal to hand out,” he says. “They’re not thinking they just won the silver, they’re thinking they just lost the gold.”

He attended Junior Ranger meeting, where he discussed the idea of using Sea Cans to increase storage amount there. He also talked about ATV training with them, as the Rangers have some trainers.

He says Dawson Creek is looking to host the North Central Local Government Association conference, and want Tumbler Ridge to be a partner, as they want to bring people out here and show it off. I’d like to see someone from Council take on planning that. Bad news is there’s a meeting tomorrow. Councillor Scott volunteers.

He was involved in a number of fair share and budget meetings for PRRD. And, he says, at the PRRD meeting they voted unanimously to support the museum and the Geopark for three years.