Tumbler Ridge Council Meeting, May 21,2013

Trent Ernst, Editor

Present Mayor Wren, Councillor’s Snyder, , Torraville, Mackay, McPherson, Junior Councillor Doonan

Staff: Barry White, Angie Collison, Doug Beale, Lana Zapel

Correspondence

Community Futures

Council received a letter from the General Manager, Community Futures Development Corporation Peace Liard, titled “Business Retention & Expansion Initiative – BC Counts” for discussion.

Discussion Items

Town Hall Open House – November 21, 2012

At the request of Councillor Torraville, council discussed the Town Hall Open House Summary. The proposal is to go over each suggestion.

They discussed the airport lighting. The original plan was to pay for it using a forestry diversification grant, but it was denied. However, there is an option, says Operations Manager Doug Beale. He says that he’s talked to the electrician, and most of the issues appear to be with the connectors. Every spring, water gets into the connectors, causing corrosion. He proposes hardwiring the lights into groups. “Currently, every light has a connection, and we don’t need that,” says Beale. “That should rectify 90 percent of the issues.” Beale will be talking to the electrician again this week to find out the time frame on moving forward. Mayor Wren says that several industrial partners donated money in expectation of the grant. He says that these companies should be contacted to see if they want their money back, or if they still want to support the new initiative.

They discussed a sulfurous smell that was a topic of conversation at the time. Since then there’s been no reoccurrence, and a source couldn’t be found.

They discussed the suggestion of a walking path on Mackenzie, which is in the budget this year.

They discussed the suggestion of a charging station for electrical vehicles, but it’s not in the budget this year.

They discussed an indoor walking track. The cost of creating the track indoors would be quite expensive, and building a track around the community centre might be cheaper. It is not on the budget for this year.

A suggestion was made to have a way to divert power to town from the wind farm in case of another blackout, but that would prove very expensive and impractical.

Someone suggested the road between the dump and the golf course be re-opened. As far as anyone knows the road was never open. It’s not in the budget for this year, but Councillor McPhearson says the idea might be worth investigating. It will be discussed at a future PnP meeting.

Someone suggested repairing sewer lines, as some of the lines have sunk. According to the comment, it has caused backups in some places, but Beale says he is not aware of any problems since he took over. However, the city is upgrading its pipe inspection cameras, and should be able to better recognize and deal with issues in the future.

There is a comment that busses should stick to main streets. Council has met with the bussing company. Councillor Mackay is worried that making the busses too hard to access may force people to drive their own vehicles, something that would lead to more traffic and more dirty streets and more pollution. Councillor McPherson says sometimes you create a new problem by trying to solve another one.

There is a wish list of services that people would like to see in town. It is suggested this is something the Chamber might want to pursue.

There is a request for a ball room in the new indoor park, but Councillor Mackay says most places are trying to take them out, because all manner of stuff is found in them, such as dirty diapers.

There is a suggestion to add onto the skatepark, perhaps with a half pipe. Junior Councillor Doonan says she’s not convinced this would be the best use of funds for things for kids to do and perhaps a survey of the students is in order. The issue is passed onto the family needs committee.

There is a request for a drama/concert hall. This is not in the budget and has been a “pipe dream for some time.” However, Councillor McPherson says it shouldn’t fall off the table. There is one in Fort Nelson, and it is awesome. Mayor Wren wonders if some of these events could be held at the Conference Centre.

Northern Development Initiative Trust

Councillor Snyder has requested discussion on the northeast region strategy worksheet. There are many grants, initiatives,etc available. It is suggested the Grant Writer might be able to cross reference the District’s projects with available Grants. Councillor Mackay suggests that there should be a handful of wish-list projects on the shelf that, when a grant comes up, council can quickly respond to it. The Community Priority Worksheets are to be filled out by council by next meeting.

Community Centre Restaurant

Mayor Wren has requested discussion on the Community Centre restaurant. The question is: enter into negotiations with current applicant, or put out for a request for proposal (RFP). It is decided to put the project out for RFP, even if the Mexican restaurant proposal is only one that comes in. It should be done soon, so as to not leave that applicant hanging on. The issue is added to regular meeting.

Regular Meeting

Petitions and Delegations

Dave Price, Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation Representative, appeared before Council to request Council release the remainder of the grant in aid payment for this quarter ($25,000) and authorize payment for the next quarter ($50,000) either now or at the beginning of July. A motion is made to release remainder of this quarter’s grant in aid payment. Next quarters will be discussed at next meeting.

Correspondence

SPARC BC

Council received a letter from the Executive Director, SPARC BC, requesting Council celebrate Access Awareness Day – June 1, 2013.

Bylaws

Water Regulation Bylaw

Council gives third reading to District of Tumbler Ridge Water Regulation Bylaw

NEW BUSINESS

LEASE OF DISTRICT LAND – ASTRAL MEDIA

Council agreed to make a language change in a document they are working on with Astral Media to lease a parcel of district land.

Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel Appointments

Council appointed three members of Council to the Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel. Mayor Wren and Councillors McPherson and Mackay are appointed.

Ridge Rotors Lease

Council agrees to a five-year lease with Ridge Rotors, Inc for the lease of 720 sq metres of land at the airport, and that commercial airport lease fees be established at $1.30 per square metre per year.

Remax Parking Fee Request

Council denied a request by Peter Thomas of Remax to reduce cash-in-lieu fees for undeveloped parking stalls required by potential development of his commercial property in Town Centre. Thomas had asked that the charge per parking stall, currently $4,000, be reduced. According to Thomas, “it was, and has always been, my understanding that my lot in the downtown core (lot 3) was grandfathered at the old rate of $700 per space.” Thomas says that there is “insufficient population to expect enough revenue be generated to cover the present $4,000 per parking space fee.” For any building placed on that lot, Thomas says it would add about $120,000 to the total cost, just for parking spaces. “This would, no doubt, be a deal breaker for most prospective investors.”

Councillors’ Business

Councillor Snyder attended a Senior’s Needs meeting. Mr Price is leaving, and Council needs to discuss what is going to happen with his position.

Councillor Torraville attended the last of the budgeting meetings, as well as the most recent Grizfest meeting. She says there are still a few issues that need to be resolved. One of which is that they’ve been told that any person who puts their name on the liquor license for beer garden would be personally liable. They’re looking at insurance or options. They also want to meet with District, or at least the Operations Manager, to discuss camping options.

Councillor Mackay attended budget meetings. The Community Forest board took a tour of the area. They discovered that the standing red is more than they first thought and are applying for an uplift.

Councillor McPherson says that there is now an ATV club up and running. 55 members signed up on day one and more every day. Northern Lights College is putting on a large equipment operating course, and will be working around the old race track and are looking for suggestions as to what to do up there: Create a riding area for ATVs, maybe a couple campsites…that sort of thing.

Junior Councillor Doonan says school is winding down in less than a month, so there’s not a lot of time for the newly-formed student council to do much. There are still a couple classes that need to have elections, but this is mostly getting things ready for next year.

Mayor Wren has been off running for MLA, so not much to report. The Chamber of Commerce is moving into offices in the Community Centre as of May 27. They have a bank account, the manager position is advertised, they have a new logo, and are going to start the membership drive soon. Things are moving along nicely.