Town Council: May 7th, 2013

Trent Ernst, Editor

May 7, 2013 NOTE: There was no PnP meeting

Present. Junior Councillor Doonan, Councillors Macpherson, Torraville and Caisley. Councillor Rob Mackay is acting mayor.

Staff Barry Elliot, Jason Collison, Angie Collison, Doug Beale, Candie Laporte, Lana Zapel, and Matt Treit

Before the meeting starts, Acting Mayor Mackay presents Fire Chief Matt Treit with the Fire Services Exemplary Medal for twenty years of service.


Beryl McNeil and Billy Tobin appeared before council to propose turning the Community Centre restaurant into a Mexican restaurant. McNeil says they were originally willing to purchase equipment and make renovations to bring the restaurant up to code, but since that initial offer, they have been made aware that repairs are greater than initially expected. They’re willing to bring in negotiable amount of equipment, but it is responsibility of the District to get building up to code. “There are some electrical issues that have been brought to our attention,” Tobin says. “It’s imperative that these are addressed. Bringing in equipment doesn’t take too long, but the biggest obstacle is electrical, and I’m not an electrician and I’m not a fire marshal. Once it is up to code it would only take six to eight weeks.”

The plan is to be open by 5 am to 10 pm, longer on weekends. Possibly closed one day a week. While it is a Mexican restaurant, says Tobin, the majority of food would not be spicy, though there would be the option to make it as hot as you like. “I grew up in Arizona, so we’re presenting authentic food here.” When asked about a business plan, Tobin says, “we’re working on business plan. I worked in the Hyatt Hotel when I was younger, but this isn’t jet propulsion.”

They are asked whether it would be a licensed restaurant. “Right now we’re not sure if it will be licensed or not,” says Tobin. “We need to walk before we can run. If serving alcohol is going to cause problems, we won’t.”

Tobin says the emphasis will be on fresh, healthy food. “What better place than the Community Centre. We’ve been told that after the last restaurant closed, about 70 percent of the foot traffic dropped. This would be a win-win situation.”

Tobin says they’re not planning on major renovations, but they might remove the interior wall, and possibly put up a wall to block the sound from the play area, though with windows, so parents can watch their kids still.

Council thanks them for their proposal. Repairs on the space are on the budget for later this year, and the plan was to put the space out for RFPs. It is not mentioned if this proposal will change that plan.


Public Works Association of British Columbia sent a letter requesting Council proclaim May 19 – 25, 2013 as National Public Works Week, which council received for information.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police sent council a letter thanking council for their letter of support regarding the DARE program in Tumbler Ridge, which council received for information.

Auditor General for Local Government sent a letter advising Council that the Auditor General for Local Government service plans for 2012/13 – 2014/15 and 2013-14 – 2015/16 will be available on the website, which council received for discussion. Councillor Torraville points out that she brought back a copy of the plan from NCLGA.

Dr. Charles Helm sent a letter to council talking about the difficulties that are being experienced in recruiting nursing staff and other health professionals to Tumbler Ridge, which council received for discussion. Councillor Torraville says that she gave copy of letter to Northern Health at NCLGA. She says council needs to find a resolution to this. “I heard a speaker say once ‘don’t let your barriers become your obstacles,’” she says. Everyone needs to work together on this, she says, so that it doesn’t become an obstacle.

Kispiox Valley Community Centre Association sent a letter sharing their concerns regarding the proposed construction of natural gas pipelines between northeastern BC and the Pacific coast, which council received for information.

City of Grande Prairie sent a letter requesting Council join them in celebrating Municipal Government Day, which council received for information.

Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society sent a letter requesting streets blockade for the June 8, 2013 Biathlon in Tumbler Ridge. A motion was made to grant what WNMS asked for. Passed.


Water Regulation Bylaw

Council gave first and second reading to the Water Regulation Bylaw.

Financial Plan Bylaw

Council gave first, second and third reading to the Financial Plan Bylaw. It is noted that there was an error in the library’s budget of about $4000. If council is amenable in including this, staff recommends it is taken from the Special projects contingency line item. It is so moved.

Tax Rates Bylaw

Council gave first, second and third reading to the following: Tax Rate Bylaw,

Water Rates Bylaw, Sewer Rates Bylaw, Sewer Rates Bylaw, Water Parcel Tax Bylaw, Water Parcel Tax Bylaw, Sewer Parcel Tax Bylaw. .

New Business

Free Use of the Conference Centre for the fifth Annual Museum Palaeontology Symposium, happening here on July 27 – 28, 2013.

Real Estate Foundation Grant

Council agree to enter into the Real Estate Foundation of BC Funding Agreement, and the Corporate Officer was authorized to execute this agreement on behalf of the District.

Geotechnical Investigation

Council directed staff to accept and execute the contract based on Proposal for “GI-2013-04-08 Geotechnical Investigation” with Harder Associates Engineering Consulting Inc. / SNC Lavalin. Councillor Hewitt requests a two month leave of absence, which council grants.

Councillors’ Business

Councillor Caisley. Sustainability plan is in the works, he says. CDI reps were in community in April. During these visit, they met with sustainability chair, conducted interviews and talked to media (that’s us!). Workshop is being organized.

Councillor Torraville. Attended NCLGA, sat in on number of sessions. Attended budget meetings. Attended library board meeting.

Councillor Macpherson. Working on boat launch, which is now done. ATV club is in process of forming, which is now done. Attended NCLGA.

Councillor Doonan. Attended Dawson Creek trade fair. Working on student council. It’s a trial run for next year, but there are lots of people interested in running, so elections will need to be held.

Councillor Mackay. Attended NCLGA. He asks for clarification on new taxes and fees from Regional District and School District. Candie Laporte says that it will work out to about $65 more for a house valued at $200,000. Mackay asks staff to contact the Regional District to have a representative appear before council to explain the increase.