Regular Meeting of Council: November 18, 2015

Trent Ernst, Editor


Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillors Caisley, Kirby, Howe, Krakowka, Scott


Tim Snyder came before Council to request a letter of support and possibly funding and permission from the District to provide power to the Lions Club Park campsites. Snyder thanks Council for their input on the proposed spray park. It appears that the cost would be too prohibative, so they are withdrawing that proposal. However, they are asking that Council help install power for the stalls. “They all ask for it, we say we don’t have it.”

As it is District property, he says, Council would need to support it. Also, if there is any money in the budget for it, that would be great. He says he was looking for a cost proposal, but he was unable to get ahold of the electrician before the meeting. The mayor says that’s something staff would probably look at.

Mayor asks if they were planning on doing all of them? Snyder says if it is affordable; if not, they would do either the upper loop or the lower loop.

Councillor Kirby says some people prefer non-powered sites because of the cost.

Councillor Caisley says he supports the motion. He makes a motion that staff investigate the cost on this. All in favour.



The Peace River Regional District sent a letter of support for the District of Tumbler Ridge in its efforts to secure provincial funding for the TR Museum and/or the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre.


Northern Health sent a letter regarding physician recruitment and the youth counsellor position, which is not under their auspices, but they understand it has been filled.


Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport & Cultural Development  wrote a letter regarding the meeting held with the District during UBCM 2015 and encouraging the District to work with his staff on future meetings.


The BC Labour Heritage sent information regarding their “Remembering Working People: Plaques Around the Province Project”.


Correspondence received November 3, 2015 from UBCM regarding the Community to Community (C2C) Forum programme and advising that the District’s grant application has been approved in principle. Councillor Caisley asks what the next steps are. “Where do we go from here?” EDO Jordan Wall says there is a report later in the agenda that will field that.


The TRCCS is holding their fifth annual Small Business Christmas Party on Saturday, December 12, 2015 at the Trend Mountain Conference Centre. This is a fundraising event and they are requesting that the District grant one of their conference facility fee use for this event. Councillor Krakowka says he is in support of doing this and moves that Council do so. Mayor suggests staff mention that this got in a little late, as if they hadn’t been able to deal with it tonight, it probably wouldn’t have got dealt with in time, and this is the last free use the District has.



Council adopted the new Proclamation Policy. The new policy states that requests for proclamations will only be granted when such proclamation requests are presented as a delegation to Council, and Council will only consider those proclamations from interest groups and organizations that have a local or regional affiliation with the District of Tumbler Ridge. Mayor says the big thing is to have a proclamation read, they’ll have to attend the meeting. All in favour.


Council approved the appointment of Michael Dagenais as a Director on the Board for the Tumbler Ridge Public Library Association. Councillor Howe asks why these things come in front of Council. Aleen Torraville says the library was a public library. As of three years ago, the library became a municipal library, and as such, Council needs to appoint directors for the board. Howe votes against.


Council approved the application by the District of Tumbler Ridge for a Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative FireSmart Grant in the amount of $10,000. Councillor Councillor Caisley asks why they don’t apply for the full amount. Torraville says there is usually a small amount the District has to put in, and she’s assuming that’s the case in this instance, though she hasn’t seen this specific grant, and Chief Treit is not here to answer that. Councillor Krakowka asks if this is for a specific area. Again, she’s not sure. Councillor Caisley suggests tabling it until details can be determined. Torraville says it would need to be referred.


Council approves Mayor McPherson and a designated Councillor to begin preliminary discussions regarding issues either in common or of concern to both the District of Tumbler Ridge and the West Moberly First Nations in preparation for a Council to Council meeting. Mayor says they met when they were down in Vancouver; they wanted to know exactly what Council wanted to talk about. “That’s how we got to this point,” he says.

Councillor Howe asks why not Saulteau and McLeod?

Mayor says we will be, but Moberley has an urban reserve attached to our community.

Councillor Caisley asks after Kelly Lake.

With Kelly Lake, they’re not recognized by the provincial govt. There are three organizations fighting for control of Kelly Lake, so until they figure it out, the regional district isn’t dealing with them, and that’s the approach that Tumbler is taking.

Scott suggests they discuss this at the next P&P meeting, unless this is time sensitive.


Council removes Charles Helm, Bernd Bohl, and Mila Lansdowne from the Tourism Action Committee, and added Sarah Waters and Birgit Sharman as voting members of the Tourism Action Committee. The report also contains recommendations from the TAC, supporting (or not) various proposals or items of discussion that Council has been considering. The TAC recommends Council move forward with the suspension bridge proposal, for instance, but not the zipline. They recommend moving forward with a splash park, but only if it is located in town. They also recommend holding off of three proposed signs from the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society until after the branding process is complete. They recommend hosting a facilitated event so businesses can come together to create tourism packages.

Tourism Signage Scheme

There are a number of challenges in creating a signage system in Tumbler Ridge, says EDO Jordan Wall. First, the streets wind and it can be confusing for new people. Second, so many tourism destinations are just being developed and even discovered. “As we move forward it is likely we will adjust our priorities on which destinations we wish to market and direct people to,” he says in his report.

In light of this, he suggests a colour coded directional scheme, a bit like a subway map, with one colour or symbol for a destination type (yellow for dinosaurs, green for hiking, for instance). This, he says, would give the system flexibility if it needs to be updated or re-prioritized.

At the heart of this scheme, he said, would be the Visitor Centre, and distances would be measured from there.


Cariboo Road Services is no longer able to supply sand for the roads in winter. While the District could truck sand from Dawson or Chetwynd, or find another supplier, the preferred option is to take responsibility for their own sand and gravel.  Council approved the District of Tumbler Ridge acquiring, through a transfer of License of Occupation of what is known as the Baxter Pit Quarry from Caribou Road Services (CRS) for the sole purpose of supplying the operations of the District with most of its material requirements of winter sand and base materials for water, sewer and road repairs, and the costs associated with permitting, planning and processing materials. These costs would be about $90,000 over five years, significantly less than what the District is currently paying.

Councillor Caisley asks who the two contractors were that responded to the query. One was Chetwynd and one was local, though Toraville doesn’t have their names here.

Caisley asks how expensive they were. The report says in the $100,000 range. “Was that $175,000?” He asks. One was $98,000, one was $117,000, both for one year, as opposed to $90,000 for five years.

Councillor Scott asks about previous environmental impact on the pit, as she doesn’t want to take on the responsibility for that.

Councillor Krakowka asks for a life expectancy of the pit, and when the last time it was used. He says he’s heard that it hasn’t been used for a couple years, as it doesn’t meet CRS’ requirements for road gravel. He asks if this went out for tender.

Motion is referred to next meeting.


Council referred a motion to approve funding on behalf of the Murray River Cumulative Effects Assessment (MRCEA) Steering Committee in the amount of $10,000 to support work that the Committee is undertaking until next meeting. Councillor Scott says that she and Doug Beale sit on this committee. There is a meeting on December 2. It is industry groups and the District—anyone who is a user and has a potential impact on the watershed—and they are hoping that the users can all donate $10,000 to this. They’d also be looking for a letter of support. As Tumbler Ridge’s treated waste water goes into the river, the District is a part of it. She says Tumbler Ridge is the only District that participates in this; all the other partners are industry. “I think it’s really important that we participate.”

Mayor says District looks like they would benefit from this. He’s wondering why the money is being held by the Fraser Basin, and not up here.”

Councillor Krakowka asks who benefits from this? Does industry benefit by getting their projects fast tracked, he wonders?

Motion is referred. Mayor suggests someone from the working group could come and talk to Council.


Approximate revenue and expenses for the District of Tumbler Ridge Golf Course for the 2015 golfing season. While not yet complete, revenue to September 30 was $308,253.13. Total expenses were $121,365.44.

Councillor Krakowka asks what further costs there will be for staff.

Final inventory has been completed, says Chris Leggett. They are only waiting for some cost statements to come through: a couple bank and Visa charges. From finance dept side, was hoping to have it ready for today, but had some computer issues.

Krakowka asks about left over products. Leggett says to arrive at final number, they looked at product, which was fully expensed, and is now property of the operator, but will continue through to next operating cycle if council approves this.

Councillor Howe says it’s not clear what percentage the District took and what it cost the District. “Do we have a breakdown of what this cost or saved the District?”

Leggett says their income statement here is for the operator, so he didn’t itemize the District’s portion “Our 20 percent took in about $39,000 in gross revenue. The costs, which we haven’t quite got final numbers on, was about $29,000. He says in doing this he looked at incremental costs. “In reviewing the actual costs, what was important to present was the differences; the costs for the building would have been the same. The costs of cutting the grass would have been the same. So after all the additional staff time, the District came out with a few dollars. And a lot of that staff time was front-end.”

Deducting staff time, says Councillor Howe, we made about $10,000?

“Yes, says Leggett.

“Who pays for lights and stuff through the winter?”

Leggett says he was asked to draft a contract that didn’t leave the District in the red. But we did make money on it.

That’s just for the five months.

What about the additional seven months? Asks Howe.

Unlike previous agreements, the District maintains ownership of the building and grounds, says Leggett. So we don’t end up in a scenario where the utilities are transferred to someone else, then we get left holding the bill. We just pay the utilities out of our revenue over the winter.

Councillor Howe asks what return the District is looking at for next year. $30,000?

Leggett says that’s a fair estimate, but they can’t predict. “It is a revenue split. If they see a 50 percent uptick, we get 50 percent uptick.”

Howe says he is concerned about costs to the District. Will they go down?

Leggett says yes. “So much of the costs were up front. As a result of the work that we’ve done over the last few months, we’ve got something that’s capable of managing this moving forward.”


A report looking at the approximate staffing costs incurred by the District of Tumbler Ridge to administer the operating agreement with Screaming Eagle Ventures LTD. for operating the golf course during the 2015 golfing season.

According to the report, it takes about 40 hours a month, costing the District $1467.20 to administer the agreement. Factoring in start-up costs, additional consultant costs, etc, says the report, the District spent about $29,114 to administer the operating agreement last year.


A report on the investment progress for the District of Tumbler Ridge for the period ending September 30. According to the report, returns have increased by $13,974 for August.


Council renewed the Operating Agreement with Screamin Eagle Ventures Ltd. for the provision of Golf Course, Pro-shop, RV sites and restaurant services for an additional year, expiring on January 15, 2017.

Mayor says Screamin Eagles did a great job last year; best that he’s seen since he’s been on Council. “We had staff spend many hours to come up with a system, and they have come forward with a recommendation to renew,” he says. “I feel we have the information necessary. We have a lot of local people trying to get through these tough times, and they’ve put in all this work, and take the time to come in and tell us how to make this better.”

Councillor Howe says he’s not sure who pays the costs on the building. “Are we paying for heat and lights now? I thought it was until January?”

Mayor says we are paying the cost. We did that because these dead months put everyone behind.

Leggett says that’s correct. As of September 30, the District took over operation of the building.

Howe asks if this was part of the original lease agreement.

Leggett isn’t sure if it’s written in the agreement, but it was what he was instructed to do. Mayor says those discussions were headed by Council.

Councillor Krakowka says he has no issue with the proponents at all. They did a great job. He suggests that it go back out for bid.

Howe says as far as he understands, Screamin Eagle has first right of refusal.

Krakowka against.


Council approves costs not to exceed $5,200 to accommodate Mayor McPherson, Councillor Mackay and Councillor Caisley’s attendance at the Premier’s BC Natural Resource Forum 2016, which is being held in Prince George from January 19 to January 21, 2016.

Schedule of meeting

Discussion to move meetings to Monday. As of January the plan is to have meetings on Monday. Updated meeting schedule will be brought forward at one of the next meetings.

Notice of Motion

Mayor says he’s been asked by the Regional District to do up a letter of support for upgrades to the Dawson Creek Hospital. “It’s kind of our Hospital, and it hasn’t changed much over the years; I was wondering if Council would be in support of that?” He says he’ll get some more information.


Councillor Scott chaired Building Healthy Community Committee. Suggested to merge family needs committee with it, as the two are very similar. Will discuss at next Policies and Priorities meeting. At the meeting, they discussed murals for downtown. December 1 is next meeting; still looking for interested people. Attended school Remembrance Day ceremonies. Met with Mr. Fred Banham. She is looking for clarification on District’s policy on closed meeting minutes and reports. Attended Grizfest Meeting. Attended craft fair.

Councillor Krakowka attended Remembrance Day ceremony. Attended Healthy Community meeting. Attended craft fair. Attended Senior’s meeting. Says at the back of Willow Hall there is a two inch gap between the ground and the handicap ramp. Makes a motion that staff looks into it.

Councillor Howe says the new lights around town are great. Wants to know if there needs to be a motion to continue LED lighting. Ken Klikach says we’re one year into a four year plan to swtich over lighting. If they increased funding to $125,000, could be done in three years. He asks about Hydro’s street lights on Mackenzie. Klikach says he’s been in conversation with Hydro; they are testing right now, and should be doing that within the next couple years.

Councillor Krakowka asks if they were to allot more money from the Council Initiatives budget, would staff be able to work on that? Klikach says if Council wants to do it all, it would run about $350,000.

Krakowka moves that Council take $350,000 and finish the lights. Councillor Kirby says that’s jumping the gun. Mayor agrees. Councillor Caisley says he just wants to see the process followed. Howe says if there are opportunities to buy lights at a cheaper rate, we should do that. Klikach says we were able to get them for $550, and Hydro will pay $50/light. Krakowka and Howe in favour; defeated. Krakowka moves that they bring it to the next P&P meeting to discuss costs and return on investment. Passes. He asks after the proposed HD Tour.

Councillor Kirby attended the school’s Remembrance Day. Was at Grizfest AGM. Career Fair for Site C didn’t result in many hiring. MNP financial planning are coming to Tumbler. Walter’s last shipment of coal went out last month. Teck update: they’ll open someday. JCP grant should be filled out.

She attended Tourism Advisory Committee Meeting.Recommendation that District pay for the signage, but it was defeated, because District branding isn’t ready. She went to watch the U17 Hockey Tournament in Dawson Creek.

Councillor Caisley is still working on salary policy.

Mayor McPherson agrees new LED lights are awesome. Attended Remembrance Day Ceremony. Attended museum meeting; recommended they come before Council. Had meeting with MLA Mike Bernier. Will discuss at next meeting.