Regular Meeting of Council – March 4

Trent Ernst, Editor


Present: Mayor Wren, Councillors Snyder, Caisley, McPherson, Mackay, Litster, Leggett

Council Meeting Action Summary Sheet

CAO Barry Elliott says there is one item to note. He has been in touch with AldrichPears, with whom council has been working on setting up a meeting. They have some proposed dates. Also, they have revised their proposal. Originally, AldrichPears had a portion in there for an architect, but they have pulled that out, reducing the cost by $12,000 to $67,900. (See Jan 22 issue for more information.)

Petitions and Delegations

All Terrain Vehicle Trails Proposals

Gordon Graham and Tim Croston appeared before council to discuss the ATV club’s proposal for trails and escape routes in Tumbler Ridge. See story last issue for more details.

Croston says that in addition to the trails discussed in the previous issues, there are proposals for some other trails around town that everyone uses, but currently aren’t able to ride legally. “In Elkford and Crowsnest Pass they are allowed to do it legally. Here, people do it, even though it’s not allowed, and they will always continue to do it.”

Croston says a lot of people bought places in Tumbler Ridge “as a recreation getaway, including me. But around 2006 that all changed and all of a sudden we couldn’t do it.”

Councillor McPherson says that he has been working on a proposal that is very similar to this one: ATVs would have to be registered and insured. And the ATV club is going to have to be involved in policing these areas. Since they’re the ones out on the trails, they will be able to do this

Councillor Leggett asks about the section of trail down by the golf course. He is worried that the noise might bother people golfing. Croston says ATVers are far away enough from the golf course to not disturb people. “At least, no more than someone with a generator at the campsite,” he says.

Councillor Mackay asks if the club has approached the Community Forest about developing trails? Croston says the focus is on getting out of town first. “If you can’t get to the trails, what’s the point?”

Councillor Snyder is worried about the people who race along the streets. Croston says that a lot of people go as fast as they can to get to the nearest trailhead because they know it is illegal. “If we had the ability to do it legally, then people would not need to speed.”

Councillor McPherson says that last time the District was working on something like this, they decided to wait for the Province. “This time we need to do this,” he says, no matter what the Province does.

Mayor Wren points out that this time the Province appears to be on their way to doing something. “Early last week, the Province had a first reading of the ATV act.” He wonders if it will be in harmony with this proposal, or will it conflict. Croston thinks the former. “The provincial legislation will cover issues like safety. If you don’t have a driver’s licence, you won’t be driving an atv. There will be noise restrictions. If you want to legally cross a highway, you will need insurance. If you want to ride on a forest service road, you need a helmets and insurance already. It seems like it would complement.”

This will be discussed by council at the next PnP meeting.

Grizfest 2014

The Grizfest Committee appeared before council to ask for funds. See story on page 9.


Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society

Council discussed a letter from the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society requesting the District’s Building Healthy Communities Committee requesting that the Committee apply for a grant to pay for signage for the TR Trail Initiative.

Mayor Wren comments the District has already put in an application for this grant. “I don’t think we can do another.” However, he talked to Dr Helm earlier in the day, and there are a couple other options. Councillor Litster mentions the grant writer has found another grant for next year, too.

Ronald McDonald House – 2014 Charity Golf Tournament

Council received a letter from the Spectra Energy and URS2014 RMH Golf Organizing Committee inviting Council to the Ronald McDonald House – 2014 Charity Golf Tournament being held on July 18, 2014 at the Lakepoint Golf and Country Club, Fort St. John. They voted to donate $400 to be an Event Sponsor and that as many Councillors as possible participate in the tournament. Councillor Snyder says he doesn’t really like sponsoring from tax payer money, but this is a good cause, so will go along with it. Mayor Wren says that it’s good and necessary for Council to question what to do with taxpayer money. “I agree with that. But God forbid that anyone from Tumbler Ridge needs this. We need to show our support on behalf of those residents that might.”

Local Government Interest in First Responder Services

This letter came before council at last week’s PnP meeting. The letter expresses concern that the Resource Allocation Plan will negatively affect the District of Taylor, and other small northern Communities. It was recommended last week that a letter be drafted in support of this letter.

Ninth Annual “Spirit Of The Peace” Competition Powwow

A letter was received asking for a donation for the Spirit of the Peace Powwow in Taylor, June 6-8. Councillor Mackay asks if Tumbler Ridge has supported this event in the past. Councillor Caisley says he thinks so. Mayor Wren says there is time, so he asks staff to look into what level of support the District has provided in the past.

Oil Spill Cleanup Liability and Recovery Funding

Ralph Drew, Mayor of the Village of Belcarra sent an open letter to the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport Canada, expressing concern regarding liability for oil spills from crude oil shipments from British Columbia ports. Council was cced on the letter.

New Business

Airport Brushing 2014

Due to a short time frame in which to accomplish the work needed at the airport, Council waived the section of the Purchasing Policy requiring that the Tender Process be implemented and accepts the two written quotes that were received and awarded the contract for brushing and mulching at the Airport to Eagle Valley Holdings for the contract price of $70,500.

Councillor Leggett asks why ditching isn’t a part of the proposal. That needs to wait until spring, replies Doug Beale. Councillor Leggett asks what the difference in pricing was between the two proposals, but they didn’t break it out, says Beale. He says that once it is down to the ground, the District will be able to set up a maintenance program for future years with the equipment they have now, but currently the brush is too thick.

CARIP Public Report And Attestation Form

Council discussed the “2012 Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program – Public Report” and what progress the District made in 2012 with respect to meeting the requirements of the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP). Elliott notes staff discovered the District hadn’t submitted in 2010, so did that as well.

Liability – Contaminated Sites – Psab3260 (On Table)

The Public Sector Accounting Board has initiated a new accounting and reporting standard, which requires all municipalities do an assessment for contaminants.

Councillor Mackay says he finds it hard that this would be implemented without grant money. He points to the District of 100 mile house, which is basically just a highway: “this could break that community.” He says that this needs more investigation. Mayor Wren points out this is just a request for proposal, and there’s no money allotted towards this yet. Councillor Litster says this is part of the District’s due diligence. “I want to see us on the forefront, not running behind.” There are ten sites in Tumbler Ridge that would have to be inspected, says Elliott, including the landfill, sewage lagoons, public yards and the snow dump area. It should cost about $350,000 to do the work on this. Mayor Wren agrees that this is a hard burden on municipalities, and that is should be brought back to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Golf course chain link fence

Council authorized $21,000 for 18 chain link stalls with lockable gates. Elliott says that this is for the new building and will allow people to lock up their gear. The building came in $17,000 under budget, so is only an added cost of $4,000. Councillor Mackay says the golf course does have lockers to rent. He opposes the motion.

Economic Development Officer Position

Elliott says that, following the discussion last week, he is confident that the job position is current. “We are going to move this forward to fill this position ASAP.” See ad, page 15.

Councillors’ Business

Councillor Leggett will be attending tourism development session at community centre the next day.

Councillor Litster has been working with Grizfest committee. She thanks for council for attending healthy community meeting.

Councillor Mackay wishes John Holt a happy retirement, and thanks him for his service with the District. He has done a couple tours through the wildfire mitigation area, and reminds everyone that they can take a tour, too. He says he’s concerned about buses to take shoppers out of town. Councillor Litster says the intent was so new immigrants could get to services that they need. While some people used it for shopping that wasn’t the main concern.

Councillor McPherson isn’t pleased with the logging. “It looks terrible,” he says. “It’s better than before, but….” Councillor Mackay points out they are planning on chipping the downed logs, as well as clean up the old area. McPherson admits he doesn’t like any trees being cut down.

Councillor Caisley attended regional district meeting, where they suggested Tumbler Ridge look at applying to host Minerals North Conference in three years. He asks staff find out what is required, and have a discussion about it at our next pnp. He says the Regional District would support this.” He points out that, come November, municipal elections will be for a four year term. This is new. The Community Development Initiative is working on section on economy and will start working on education section on or about March 15.

Councillor Snyder attended seniors potluck dinner at new hall. About 25 people attended. He is also attending the session tomorrow.

Mayor Wren attended anti bullying day event. He had a meeting with Brookfield renewable energy. They have a shovel ready wind project down by the Wapiti. He says they only need a purchase agreement with BC Hydro. He attended family needs meeting. He thanks Council for approval to purchase new playground equipment for upper bench this spring. “The kids up there are going to be surprised.”

He wishes the best of luck to seniors boys basketball team as they compete in Provincial. He toured community forest. He has an envelope with suggestions for name for the hall on Willow Drive, submitted by Tumbler Ridge Elementary students. He is planning for trip to Victoria to present to Liberal Caucus with Museum Foundation, and announces that he is appointing Councillor Leggett to be museum liaison.