Regular Meeting of Council September 2, 2015

Trent Ernst, Editor


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

Petitions and Delegations

Resolution Proclaiming September as United Way Month.

Emily Gallen, Community Development and Campaign Officer for the Northeast came before Council to request a resolution, proclaiming September as United Way Month. She also provides an update on the services offered by the United Way, including the Good Food Box and Success by 6 here in Tumbler Ridge. “We’re in our campaign season right now,” she says, pointing out that September 12 will be the Fire Truck Pull.  Mayor McPherson reads the proclamation.

Marcel Brodeur

Brodeur came before Council to discuss the Unsightly Premises Bylaw. “I have an unsightly lawn at my house,” he says. “What I’m conducting is an attempt to find an alternative to lawn grass in Tumbler Ridge.”

He says he’s planted his lawn with micro-clover. It doesn’t need to be watered, fertilized, or anything. It doesn’t grow more than 30 cm; it’s a more environmental way to look after the lawn. Due to the soil being an aggregate, there’s only 4-5 inches of top soil. Most of the water poured on the lawn just goes through the top soil and into the aggregate. He’s asking for some latitude on his lawn for this year, as he is letting it go to seed. “There are no weeds, no dandelions. Right now what’s growing, and is considered unsightly, is the grass trying to get through, which I am pulling as fast as I can.”

Barry Elliott says Mr Brodeur has the right to appeal to council. What Council doesn’t have is a report from the bylaw officer. He recommends taking this information, and sending it back to staff for a report as well as photos.

Councillor Mackay asks how long it’s been growing. “I seeded it last year,” he says. “Because of the broadleaf, it creates its own shade, so it maintains moisture better.”

Councillor Mackay asks if it attracts deer. Brodeur says he saw some deer droppings in spring, but hasn’t seen any deer activity since then.

Councillor Krakowka asks why there isn’t a report from staff already, as the warning was issued more than 30 days ago. Elliott says there is some back and forth that has been happening. He says there will be a report at the meeting on September 16.

TR Days Society

Jenna McQueen came before Council to provide an update on Grizfest. “We were asked to come back and give you an update. This year was our fourteenth year,” she says. They sold 1262 tickets, and gave away 262 tickets, as well as 29 vendor passes. There were 151 volunteers, eight directors. All told, 2100 people on the ground. Media came from all over the Peace, she says. In fact, this year had the best media attendance ever. Rock 97.7 broadcast live over the weekend. They had an increased social media presence, better advertising, a new website and once again worked with Encana Events Centre to sell tickets.

One of the biggest changes for the year was they purchased two new Grizfest tents, including a branded Grizfest autograph tent.

She says 75 people completed a feedback survey. The response was generally positive. It was a great year, the board worked really hard, there were many hours put in. Thanks to the District for all their in-kind donations and monetary support. Plan is to make it bigger and better for next year.

Councillor Krakowka says it was a great year. He’s wondering about the in-kind donations, making it monetary as opposed to using staff to set everything up.

Mayor says he was a little worried that there was no country music, but it went really well. Councillor Mackay agrees it was a job well done.


Vancouver Island Building Trades

Phil Venoit, President of VI-Building Trades sent a letter concerning Asbestos awareness to Council.

Teck mid-year update

Marcia Smith, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs, sent a mid-year update from Teck. No mention of plans around Quintette in the letter.

Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Thank You

TRGG President Sue Kenney sent a letter to Mayor and Council, thanking them for their support at the inaugural events earlier this summer.

Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Letter of Support

TRGG President Sue Kenney also sent a letter asking for a letter of support from the District for an application for a Community Gaming Grant. Council agrees to do so.

Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Office Space

TRGG President Sue Kenney also sent a letter asking if the District could provide space for office. Mayor says he supports them operating out of the VIC, but they need to figure out what they’re doing around that space first. He recommends that they take over the old VIC right now. Councillor Krakowka says he thought the EDO was going to be occupying that space. Mayor says EDO doesn’t want to go, as it is better to have him operating out of the main building. CAO Barry Elliott says there are discussions ongoing about staffing and restructuring. They will discuss the move of the EDO at the next P&P. Krakowka says he’s not saying the EDO has to move, but he wants Council kept in the loop.

Mayor says they should make the offer of the old VIC centre, just to give them space. Council agrees.

College of Applied Biology

Dr Vanessa Craig sent a letter recommending the District consider hiring and/or contracting registered applied biology professionals to “ensure any advice you seek to inform decision-making is from qualified and accountable professionals.”

Geoscience BC tenth anniversary dinner invitation

Robin Archdekin, President and CEO of Geoscience BC invited the mayor to Geoscience BC’s tenth anniversary dinner on October 8.

Blunden Road Closure

Terry Cosgrove sent a letter asking for a road closure for their annual Halloween event. Councillor Scott says it is very well attended; it is important, and there is lots of traffic. People cut from there to the Halloween party downtown. If that road were closed, it would improve the safety for people attending both events. “It’s amazing what they put on there,” she says.

Councillor Krakowka agrees. “It’s grabbed a lot of traction, especially last year. People have been coming from out of town for this. We should do something to advertise this and build on it.” Councillor Howe says he supports it, too, but wants to make sure the other people on the street are good with the road closures. Elliott says he wants Doug Beale to provide a report on this as well.

Mayor is worried about the precedent this sets.

Councillor Caisley says they’ve never heard a complaint around the event.

Councillor Scott makes the motion. Councillor Krakowka adds that the District promote the event. Councillor Mackay says this is something that should be discussed with the Blundens first.


New Business

Volunteer Appreciation BBQ and United Way Fire Truck Pull

These two events are happening on September 12. Council approved street closures for the events, as well as the use of six barricades and labour to help set up and take down the barricades.

Councillor Krakowka asked if Council was involved in the setting of the date. The mayor says he thinks in the past they came up with the date for the Truck Pull, then set the BBQ that same date. He also thinks the District needs to enter a team.

Tumbler Ridge Community Arts Council Lease Renewal

Council renewed the TRCAC lease for rooms two and three and for the Art Gallery for $1. The lease is for a three year term, ending September 30, 2018. Councillor Howe says he’s got no problem with leasing out the Art Gallery, but he doesn’t think the District should be leasing out Room 3 for storage. “There are Sea-Cans all over the District.” He says this should be tabled until the District figures out what’s happening. “I think we need to find a better spot for them.” Councillor Scott says the concern is most of the activity that the Art Council does is at the Community Centre so moving it off site is a worry to the Arts Council. 
Councillor Kirby says there was discussion at the last meeting that the Arts Council doesn’t fundraise. She says they do, and they have put on all manner of events to make this a better place: Juried Art Show, Time Travel, etc. etc.

Howe says he’s in support of the Art Council, but the District is losing money on the rec centre, and he wants to see Room 3 open up.

Councillor Caisley recommends that the lease be approved on a month by month process until they get the storage situation figured out. The motion is amended to read as such.

Travel Approval NCLGA Planning

Council approved travel cost for Councillors Scott and Kirby to attend the planning meetings for the 2016 NCLGA Conference. Councillor Scott says they’ve attended a couple meetings already, and there are a couple more to go.

Visitor Information Centre LED Sign and 24/7 Information Kiosk

The estimated cost for the LED Message Sign and 24/7 Information Kiosk was acquired early in the budgeting process, and in the intervening time, the cost of this has gone up, due to the weak Canadian dollar, increasing nearly $10,000. Ken Klikach recommends that the Information Kiosk, budgeted at $14,500, be moved to next year’s budget, and the savings from that be allocated towards the LED sign instead. Councillor Krakowka asks why this wasn’t included in the previous overages discussion. “Wouldn’t we know in mid-June that this was happening?”

Krakowka asks about the source of the sign, as they would use the same company as supplied the sign for the Community Centre, as there have been so many problems with that.

Klikach says he hasn’t been able to find any company that are not part of the same overall company.

Councillor Scott says if there are issues with power surges in Tumbler Ridge, should we go with LED? Klikach says they’ve now got power surge panels on all the LED panels now.

Councillor Howe says this building keeps continuing to bleed the District of Tumbler Ridge. It’s $50,000 for a sign. I could put up a sign for my business for $5000. Come up with a cheaper option.”

Elliott says this is what Council approved. Howe says yes, at $35,000. Elliott says it is Council’s prerogative if they choose to not go ahead.

Mayor McPherson says he doesn’t believe in putting in a second rate sign, but perhaps it should be held off until next year, as it’s getting late in the year.

Krakowka says $50,000 for a sign is a lot. He says there’s got to be a cheaper option. He suggests tabling it and looking for a better option.

Councillor Mackay says the sign should be worthy of the building.

Councillor Caisley says he doesn’t have a problem going out for options and putting it on hold for a while.

Staff will look at options.

Northern Gateway Project Concerns

When they were in Tumbler Ridge discussing an update on their project, writes Jordan Wall in his report, Northern Gateway said they would be building a pump station near tumbler ridge, consisting of six 6,000 hp moters. The power required to operate these motors is between 20 and 30 MW. The town requires about 20 MW to function as well. Between the two, that’s approximately 50 MW of power. BC Hydro currently only supplies the town 100 MW of power. If the mines come back on-stream, Building Services Manager Ken Klikach is worried that it will lead to brown outs in the area.

Councillor Howe suggests sending a letter, rather than calling them back to appear before Council.

Mayor says he thinks it’s important enough to have them sit back here.

Councillor Caisley suggests doing both; send them a letter and invite them to come and report on it, too.

Grant Update

Jordan Wall wrote a report to inform Council on the outcome of a pair of Grant applications. The Canada 150 grant to cover 50 percent of the funding for a splash park was unsuccessful, as the grant war oversubscribed. The only community in the Peace Region to receive approval was Dawson Creek. A second grant for a recycle baler was also oversubscribed and unsuccessful.

District Investment Information

Elliott says Mr Beale will be coming forward with a motion asking for the amount for this to be allocated from surplus.

Councillor’s Business

Councillor Mackay says he doesn’t have much report. He had the opportunity do the water station at Emperor’s Challenge at km 10.5. He says he’s heard a lot of comparisons between last year’s Volunteer Appreciation as the year’s before. A lot of people said it was better in the past.

Councillor Scott attended Chamber of Commerce breakfast with Northern Gateway. It’s great to see them bringing in potential industry partners. Is now on Healthy Needs Committee. Attended TR Cares Golf Tournament. Says there’s lots of advertising about TR, but one negative point is there is nothing downtown. No shops. We need to address the downtown core issue. She would like to see the ten year plan for BC Transportation addressed, as Tumbler Ridge is not even in it.

Councillor Krakowka was on holidays, but attended the Library board meeting. Is wondering why funds for June weren’t given until August? That’s been resolved, says Elliott.

Attended Success by 6 meeting. Preschool classes are full, with four people on waiting list.

He is wondering when the Action Play Report will be ready.

He says there is a rumour that Ken Klikach will be travelling to Chetwynd to do inspection. Elliott says yes, he will be traveling there to help them out, as they work through finding a new building inspector. All the insurance, gas, etc. will be covered by Chetwynd. This is on a trial basis to help out a neighbouring community. No word on how long this will be. Krakowka asks if Klikach will be using a Chetwynd vehicle? No, but they are reimbursing cost. If there is any issues with a building in Chetwynd, does the District have any liability? None at all.

Councillor Caisley has been working on Salary Policy with staff. Hope it will be done by year’s end, and have a Salary Administration Policy for the future.

Councillor Kirby attended Chamber of Commerce breakfast and the NCLGA planning meeting in Dawson Creek. Attended TR Cares Golf Tournament. She went on tour with Treaty 8 to potential sacred site. Jordan and Emiko had a baby. Yay! She’s been hearing complaints about first part of road to Kinuseo Falls, which is supposed to be maintained by CNRL. We need to get that fixed up, she says.

Councillor Howe apologized for his tone and comments earlier this evening. “I’m passionate about this, and I want to do good by it, but sometimes it comes out in the wrong way.” He says he’s been noticing the work on the roads, some debris on side of road, which isn’t all that appealing.

In light of the development tonight, he makes a motion to hire a Chief Financial Officer.

Councillor Caisley says he agrees with the motion, but he wants Council to be able to take a look at what the job description would look like. Howe agrees, and the motion passes.

Mayor McPherson asks if we have a meeting with transportation at UBCM. Not being on the map is not a joke anymore. “Here we are trying to get some roads fixed around here, and they don’t even have us on the map.” He recommends donating $400 to golf championship and let Terry (Vandenbosch) at the golf course to determine what the prizes are.

Councillor Caisley asks about who Council will be meeting with at UBCM, and discussion goes on to UBCM meetings. “Anyone want to hear what I’ve been doing?” jokes the mayor. He was at golf tourney as well, and at water station for Emperors Challenge.