Regular Meeting of Council, November 7

Trent Ernst, Editor

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



President Sean Shea and Director Glen Miller appeared before Council to request that Council proclaim November 5 – 11, 2016 as Veterans Week, which the mayor did.



Correspondence received from CUPW requesting input from municipalities on Phase 2 of the Canada Post Review. Mayor says this might affect our post office. CAO Jordan Wall says they are examining a moratorium on closing post offices in small communities, and thinking about removing it. As a small community, there is a chance this might affect us. Councillor Kirby says this is a very important service that would be terrible to lose. Councillor Howe suggests contacting the Head Post Person to see if we are on the list of places to close. Mayor says his first reading of this was that it was more about door to door. Motion to contact Head Post Person to see if town would be affected. Passes.


The New Life Family Assistance Program sent a note requesting that Council hold a Christmas food drive for 2016. Mayor says in the previous ones, getting the word out was difficult. “People were like ‘oh, what are you doing?’” He says. He suggests using Facebook. Councillor Krakowka says he can help with getting word out and being a drop off for people who may be out of town. Date set for December 3 at 10 am.


The Emperor’s Challenge Race Committee thanks the District for their 2016 sponsorship.


Minister Shirley Bond sent a note to follow-up on the meeting held in Victoria during UBCM 2016. In follow-up to our conversation, Mr. Grant Mackay, Vice President, Destination and Industry. She says that Grant Mackay, Vice President, Destination and Industry Development for Destination BC spoke with Wall to review the range of marketing activities that were undertaken this summer. “As an outcome of that discussion, Destination BC’s Global Marketing Team will connect directly with Mr. John Powell, Economic Development Officer, when he is back from holidays to continue the conversation and discuss future marketing opportunities. In addition, I am very pleased to confirm that Ministry staff, including Ms. Asha Bhat, Executive Director, Tourism & Creative Sectors, and Mr. Bruce Whyte, Senior Tourism Development Officer, are available to attend and facilitate the Geopark planning session in your community on November 23 , 2016,” she writes.


Marsha Dufresne wrote a letter containing several questions pertaining to a Municipal Fish Pond.


Invitation received from the Centre for Sustainability advising of the Grow Event Tourism Workshop is being held December 2, 2016 in Kamloops, BC. Mayor suggests this is something that Councillor Kirby should attend. She says looking through it, she could probably pass on it and work on bringing the conference here. Staff tourism budget has been spent for the year, but having an event like this in Tumbler would be something to work on for the future.


Mary Polak, Minister of Environment, sent a letter to follow up on the meeting held with the District of Tumbler Ridge during UBCM 2016.


Correspondence received from Roxanne Gulick, Wild River Operations Inc. to provide a report on the Monkman RV Park Operations for the period June – October, 2016. Gulick says that running the Monkman RV Park was a good experience, and hopes to be able to come to an agreement with the District of Tumbler Ridge and be the caretakers/attendants for the park next year as well. “The RV Park has so much to offer and the majority of guests that stayed with us over our contract period had little to no complaints,” she writes. There were quite a few long term guests, part of the Miekle Wind Project.

“Tumbler Ridge is very fortunate to have two large campsites that also offer two very different experiences,” says Gulick. “It was quite easy to work with Frank from the Lions/Flatbed Campground to accommodate travelers seeking particular campgrounds.”

She says most of the visitors came for the dinosaur tracks. “When asked how they heard about us, their answer was, the Milepost magazine, or they saw some info at another town’s Visitor Information Centre.”

She says there were a number of compliments and complaints that were received over the summer. In the former category, the shower/laundry house received many compliments for the set up and the pricing. She says guests appreciated that the showers were separate facilities, not a group/locker room type of set up. Pricing for staying the night were considered reasonable, especially in comparison to places they had previously stayed. Long term rates were also considered very reasonable.

“The group/field area is very large and is able to accommodate quite a few extra guests,” she writes. “Over Grizfest weekend, we had approximately 60 units over and above the 55 serviced sites. The existing areas that have been landscaped and the flower beds are well done. They add an extra touch to the already beautiful views around the park, and the guests really appreciated the quiet evenings. This was such an added benefit for quiet, many guests that had been travelling and some had experienced some pretty noisy parks along the highway.

In the complaints department, there was no playground for children, as the previous one was removed and the new one is not yet opened. “This left a sandbox with weeds growing throughout and limited playing options.”

There were a few guests who felt the floors in the shower house were slippery when exiting the shower, she says, as well as complaints about there not being anywhere to put towels besides the floor. She was able to acquire some folding chairs, and there have been no further complaints.

Gulick also offered up her own suggestions. These include, removing the old shower house, raising the pads for several sites where the water collects. “I would not rent them due to walking through a pond to get to your site, or the site itself held a lot of water. Even after the rain, water sits around approximately 5-7 sites that cause guests to be camped within mud puddles.”

Additional picnic tables at the park would be a positive addition, she says. Maybe turning the field there into a day-use area. “There are also natural tent spots that could be enhanced by picnic tables. Currently people can rent space in the fields, at a reduced rate. I believe because the RV Park is closer to town, there are some guests who would prefer to stay at the RV Park, but have limited choices because setting up in the serviced areas are not tent friendly. I believe these tables could also enhance the playground area as the tenting sites are all in close proximity to the playground area.” She recommends a dozen tables.

She would like to see better recycling amenities, at least a place for cardboard recycling. She says signage could be improved. She’d also like to see the speed limit dropped to cut down on dust.

“Because the sites are so close together,” she says, “if guests are not using threaded elbow sewer hookups, the smell can be unpleasant for the guest next to them. In order to enforce this though, those hookups must be available to purchase and all the sites must have the appropriate receptacle. There are currently a couple of sites that do not have the female threaded receptacles/hookups or the pipes are not in good enough shape to use.”

She believes the prices could be raised without scaring people away, though she’d also like to see a senior’s rate created.

“A dedicated phone number would also be beneficial. I believe in today’s technological world, there is likely a way that there could be a dedicated phone number besides the District’s direct line. Until such a time that there is a full time, year round caretaker, having the phone number change from the District to the attendant causes communication problems. If there was a dedicated number that could be forwarded to the camp attendant’s phone, or something similar, I believe that communication and marketing will become easier for staff, the attendant and most importantly, guests to the park.”

She says the current mix of grass, weeds and gravel makes it difficult to keep the grounds looking good. “As the majority of the park is gravel, and it would not be cost effective to put in grass, I believe that an attempt to control the weeds/grass would help with the overall appearance of the park.”

Finally, she says, while they were required to be on-site 24/7 this summer, she doesn’t think it was warranted. “This could change as the park gets busier, yet I believe there could be a compromise for some flexibility no matter who runs the park. This requirement makes it difficult to make running the park as a contractor cost effective.”

Recommendation to bring her in as a delegation to discuss the letter. Councillor Howe asks if this is something that should be discussed in closed, as it might deal with money. Wall says if there are issues that regard financial, it should be closed, but many of these issues can be discussed in public. Councillor Scott says the financial information is the part that was missing from this. Councillor Kirby suggests bringing the Lions in at the same time so they can look at needs in camping infrastructure all at once. Moved. Passes.




Council approves the request from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch by authorizing the Community Centre staff to transport tables and chairs to and from the Tumbler Ridge Secondary School for the November 10 School Service and November 11 Community Remembrance Day Services. They also approved a road closure on Southgate Avenue and associated labour costs on November 11, 2016 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm to allow for the Remembrance Day Parade between the Legion and the Tumbler Ridge Secondary School.



Council approved spending $17,497 for the District of Tumbler Ridge to join the North East BC Resource Municipalities Coalition. Mayor says he’s been involved with a couple things with the coalition, like the trip to Ottawa and demonstration on steps of legislature. “They are a very strong, dedicated crew,” he says, “and Colin is as sharp a guy as is around.” He knows he spoke against this a few years ago, but that was more a difference of opinion around Fair Share. They are recognized by the provincial government, and met with the Province, where the Regional District didn’t. “I think the coalition would be a great motivator around the issues we have with CN right now,” he says.

Councillor Howe asks if joining this group would give them a stronger voice in these discussions. Mayor says they’ve already told him they would get behind this. “To me $17,000 is a small price to get the rail expedited,” says Howe.

Councillor Kirby asks if joining will give Tumbler Ridge a seat on the executive committee. Mayor isn’t sure. “They have been courting us hot and heavy to come back in. They’ve invited me to the meeting on Wednesday, invited me to speak at the conference on December 2, so yeah, if I wanted to be, I think I could.”

Kirby says having Tumbler Ridge at the table gives a voice when it comes to coal mining and wind power, in addition to oil and gas. Wall says municipal members form executive.



Discussion to donate its existing ladder truck, Ladder 3, as well as outdated training materials, old fire hose, and out of service turnout gear to Firefighters Without Borders so that it can be sent to support firefighting operations in developing countries. The District was recently approached by the organization, who say they rarely get donated ladder trucks, and are hoping to send this truck to the San Fernando area in the Philippines. While the truck no longer meets Canadian standards, writes Firefighters Without Boarders President Bob Dubbert, a vehicle like this would be highly prized and see many years of service in developing nations.

Mayor says he’d like to make sure that nobody up north needs it, first. Howe says he’d rather see the ladder truck to the Ritchie Brother’s auction. “If we’re spending a million bucks on a new fire truck, I don’t see any reason we shouldn’t get $100,000 back for that truck.”

Councillor Caisley asks how much the truck would be worth? “If it’s $50,000, it might be worth it. If it is $5000, it might not be.”

Wall says it’s a very old truck and the upkeep on it might not be worth it. Putting it up for auction might get a few dollars, or it might get bid up. “Our recommendation is this because we don’t feel that it would get us much.”

Councillor Scott asks if the District has sold equipment by auction before. Yes, says Wall.

Howe: “I have no intention of donating this to anyone in the area. There’s lots of fire trucks on Ritchie Bros. People are selling. People are buying. He moves to put it up for sale. Passes. Councillor Caisley opposed.


Report dated November 7, 2016 from the Fire Chief to provide an update on the arrival of the new ladder truck for the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department. “This truck is now near completion and requires a final inspection as per our agreement,” writes Chief Dustin Curry. “I traveled to the manufacturing plant in Snyder, Nebraska on November 1st, 2016, to make sure that this happens with the Districts best interests in mind. Upon a successful completion of this inspection, the truck is set to be delivered to Safetek in Abbotsford, BC in mid-November. Safetek will perform Federal, Provincial, and Safetek’s pre-delivery inspections on the truck, plus install a second V-Mux Screen and aluminum rims, which have been approved by Council. This process is expected to take 3-4 weeks.”

After the truck is delivered to Tumbler Ridge, Safetek will provide two days of training with the new ladder truck to the fire department. “This will be scheduled as close to the delivery date as possible to minimize down time of the truck,” writes Curry. “It is my intention to reinforce this training through our regular training nights in effort to familiarize our personnel with the operation of the truck as soon as possible. Once this training has been received, and I am satisfied that Fire Department personnel are familiar enough with the truck to provide safe and efficient response, it will be put into full service. Until that time, Ladder 3 will still be used in its current capacity.”


Over the course of 2016 Council and District staff have taken a number of steps to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the District, says Wall. “This has included items such as switching to LED lighting, upgrading our lagoon system, and upgrading the heating in the Community Centre. For this work the District has been awarded $21,156 from the Provincial Government.” Councillor Howe asks how this is calculated. Wall says there’s no need to demonstrate the change in the actual amount paid, but in how much these changes reduce power demand, and the province determines from there.


The Deputy Corporate Officer submitted a report advising Council on estimated costs for Council attendance at the Premier’s BC Natural Resource Forum being held early next year. It will cost $2017.20 per Council member to attend, or $14,120.40 for all to attend. Question about whether this would fall under 2016 budget or 2017? 2017. Councillor Kirby wonders if they approve the full amount, and then they can determine later how many people would go. Councillor Scott asks if there’s an early registration? Not sure.


Council approved Fred Banham as facilitator of the 2016 Chief Administrative Officer’s performance review process. Councillor Krakowka asks what the cost would be? Can find that out, says Wall. Kirby says she’s not convinced that they even need to bring in an outside facilitator. Councillor Caisley says there’s a lot of work doing the review, so he has no problem with Mr. Banham coming in to do that work. Councillor Howe agrees. “His advice is worth its weight.”


Council made a resolution to appoint Dustin Curry as Fire Chief/Bylaw Officer for the purposes of enforcing all bylaws of the District of Tumbler Ridge. They also authorized him to enter onto and inspect property pursuant to section 16 of the Community Charter for the purposes of determining whether all regulations, prohibitions and requirements are being met in relation to the District’s bylaws. Councillor Scott says she was in insurance office and there was an issue with people inspecting wood stoves, as it isn’t offered in town. Wall says previous the Fire Chief had the ticket to do that; if it is a service that Council wants to offer, it’s something that can be added to the training. Howe says he doesn’t want to see District doing it. “This is something that someone could offer as a business.” And, if the District does take it on, says Councillor Krakowka, there should be a fee for it.



Councillor Krakowka made a motion for the District of Tumbler Ridge to donate $500 for the 2016 Success by 6 Christmas Light Up contest: $300 for first prize, $150 for second, and $50 for third. Passed.


Councillor Scott was at the town hall meeting. Some people said they prefer to see formal session with questions being asked. Overall feeling was resident concerns are the same as what Council is working on. She’s a bit concerned about asset management. Two meetings were canceled. She’s wondering if the committee is working. She wonders if it should be brought to P&P meeting and have all Council look at the issues.

Councillor Krakowka attended Halloween bonfire. Seemed like numbers were down; thinks it might have been advertising. He says he was contacted by ICBC regarding some of the comments he made. “They will still be offering class 7 and class 5 every couple months in town, and they will re-evaluate it in the future.”

He says he isn’t opposed to the travel plans for discussions with CN, as the town need to get tracks fixed, but need to get a plan set up. “What’s our end goal?” He asks. Mayor says on Wednesday he’s going down to talk to Anglo, Conuma and possibly Teck to get them all behind this. Then talk to port authority and Minister Bennett. What we’re trying to do is build a case to put pressure on CN. MP Zimmer says there’s money set aside by province to upkeep the infrastructure. “I will keep Council up to date as to what is happening.” He says he’s tried to get CN to come to Council, but with no result. He moves to add CN back to action summary sheet.

Councillor Caisley also attended town hall meeting. Was disappointed in attendance. Thought it was very poor. I counted maybe 15 people. He wonders what they can do to improve attendance.

Councillor Kirby says you get more conversation on Facebook than was at the meeting. The people who came to the meeting brought good ideas, questions and even solutions. She attended the TAC meeting. They are working on updating visitor guide. Getting important information out. Geopark meeting. Waiting to hear back from people. People are talking about bears. Talking about vehicle break-ins around town.

Councillor Howe requests town hall meeting be talked about at P&P. He says people were wondering about the name “Town Hall Meeting.” People thought it was at town hall, he says. Another issue was the number of redundant questions that could have been answered by certain people if it hadn’t been in a round table discussion. “It’s critical we are able to answer these people and get the information out to the public.” He says the questions to the table format allows the people who are best informed on certain issues.

Second, he says the dock and boat launch are in poor condition out at Gwillim. He says kids are falling off the dock because it’s slanted, boats are trashing propellers on concrete slabs at bottom of lake. He moves that the District address these issues to the provincial government. Councillor Scott suggests approaching Chetwynd for letter of support. Councillor Kirby suggests including a note about moving the gate to have year-round access. Passed.

He asks if all the path paving that was approved is done. He wonders about the wavy pavement. “Who approved that? I think it looks ridiculous.” Wall is not sure who approved, but the path is along a hill, so it needs to dip and weave.” Howe says he walked the path and he didn’t see any reason for it to weave like that, and thinks it looks silly. Mayor says it’s not a sidewalk, so it doesn’t need to be arrow straight, and he kind of likes the fact that it meanders. “It’s in the eye of the beholder, I guess.” Wall says ultimately it is his responsibility. Howe says he wants to know why it is like that.

Mayor McPherson has asked staff to put an update in paper regarding HD housing project and where it is at. He wants to bring the transfer station to a P&P meeting. “It was built when recycling wasn’t even considered,” he says. “All the signs point the way up to the caretaker shack. They should move that to down the road so people can stop and ask where to go. Even though the recycling building is the first building down there, you have to drive all the way around to get to it.” Question about grant money from regional district.

He also wants to discuss vehicle use policy. “It’s been a thorn in our side for a long time.” He wants to address moving the old wash building at Monkman park. “I think it should come to a P&P,” He wants to hear from the groups the District gave money to and find out how they used it. Councillor Kirby moves to bring the Chamber of Commerce to a meeting.

He says he wants to discuss the Question and Answer time; right now it’s after the meeting, but Taylor, he says, has 15 minutes before hand where people can talk to the issues that are on the agenda before the decision is made. He wants to see it on a P&P meeting, too. Wall says there are a few other things that need to be tweaked.