Tumbler Ridge News Report on the Committee of the Whole

February 10, 2004 1. The meeting was called to order at 1PM.

2. Minutes Approved for the Committee of the Whole Meeting of January 27, 2004

3. Business Arising From the Minutes:

4.Sci-Tech North presentation.

Lori Ackerman described some of the projects that Sci-Tech North is currently involved in, including monitoring wind energy, solar energy, coal bed methane, and creating an online data base. Ackerman also said that they are currently looking for someone from Tumbler Ridge to sit on the Sci-Tech North board.

Mayor Iles asked, ?How does this fit into what we are doing in Tumbler Ridge??

Ray Proulx, EDO, said that it lends power to our initiatives. If the District were to make use of the on-line database we would open ourselves up for communication with companies.

Mayor Iles then asked how this would effect what we are trying to do with treating waste coal to create ethanol, because there are investors who are willing to invest once the technology for this is up and running. Proulx commented that this would provide a regional linkage, which will give us a stronger voice. Ackerman asked if this technology has been developed? Iles stated that this technology was developed and is currently being used in the States. Ackerman said, ?We can contact our network and find out if there is someone who can work with you on this to make sure it meets Canadian standards?.

Councillor McPherson asked how we could get involved with the wind generation monitoring. Ackerman replied, ?if you have the tower, we can find someone to set up the data monitor.?

Councillor Younge asked what the director position, which Ackerman had mentioned, entailed. Ackerman responded that there are monthly meetings, travel is paid and directors are expected to report on their community happenings that relate to Sci-Tech North. Mayor Iles concluded by saying that this looks like a very good possibility for partnership.

5. Tumbler Ridge Youth Services Society (TRYSS) presentation by Ben Kostamo.

Kostamo explained that the purpose of TRYSS is to provide the youth of Tumbler Ridge with a safe and healthy environment to make constructive use of their time and build meaningful friendships, while at the same time having fun. TRYSS is currently working to procure funds for the 40 Developmental Assets program. Finances are generated through the goodwill of people in this community, fundraisers and the concession. Liability insurance purchased through Barton Insurance, costs $900 per year. This money is raised by the society. The Society also pays the coordinator $200 per month, but has been unable to make this payment due to restricted funds. Special events and groups that are brought in are also paid for by the Society.

Councillor Younge asked about staffing at the Teen Centre. Kostamo responded that Thursday night the Teen Centre is open for 10 to 14 year olds and that it is staffed by two teen volunteers and an adult who rotates through. Friday night the Teen Centre is open to 12 to 19 year olds. Two teen volunteers and an adult volunteer work Friday nights. Younge asked about the RCMP being called in. Kostamo replied that there is a zero tolerance for violence or substance use and three calls have been put in to the RCMP on different occasions. All were violence related, although two of these instances did not take place in the Teen Centre.

Mayor Iles said that the request for funding the 40 Developmental Assets is being looked at in the Budget meetings and that he has a good feeling about what the Teen Centre and TRYSS is doing.

6. Tumbler Ridge Public Library presentation by Larry White and Trish Clooney.

White began by pointing out Library?s value in Tumbler Ridge. ?It is the most heavily used facility in town?. White talked about the limited funds the library operates on. He gave the example of the Library having $2100 per year for computer costs. Recently a hacker got into the computer system and a majority of this year?s budget has already been spent taking care of this problem. Any increase that Council grants will go towards providing the library staff with benefits. From 1999 to present, library staff wages have only gone up 2%.

Councillor Younge asked about grants. Clooney said that the grants are not guaranteed and many are ear marked for specific programs. For example the Summer Career Placement grant is used to hire a summer student. Younge then asked about fundraisers such as the 10,000 Villages Craft Fair. Clooney responded that the money raised at this event is donated back to the 10,000 Villages. The Java Jive Coffee House has outgrown the library and is now held elsewhere. Mayor Iles said that this will be presented at the Budget meeting.

7. Skatepark Committee presentation by Larry White and Lori McIsaac.

McIsaac began by saying that this group would like to expand the climbing wall and have the District consider a marketing strategy for wall use outside of the community. Current usage is down and she feels that this is because of the present location of the wall.

There are many exciting possibilities for wall usage, as this is the only wall in the Peace area. Mayor Iles said that Council is looking at bringing in a consultant to see how the best use can be made of the Community Centre. He then asked, ?How big do you want to get?? Will the time come when we run out of volunteers? These are things that need to be considered.

Councillor Younge said that she hopes that the climbing wall gets to the point where they can hire someone to take care of it. She also thinks there should be a Community Centre brochure that can be handed out, to inform visitors of what is available.

Larry White then asked Mayor and Council for a commitment in regards to the Skate Park or Youth Park. Right now there is nothing in writing to show Council?s support of this project and before the committee proceeds they need a commitment for the land as well as support. The initial design of the Youth Park has been completed and the next step is the engineering drawings that will cost approximately $8500.

Councillor McPherson asked if there is a need for this quality of skate park, what about a modular park? White replied that if this park was being developed strictly for locals, modular would be fine, but if this park is meant to be seen as an attraction, it needs to be poured concrete. Three of the most famous jumps in the world will be put in this park. It will be an attraction and hopefully become part of a tour.

8. Coal Producers Meeting Report by Ray Proulx. Mayor and EDO met with Northern Energy and Mining Ltd. and Western Canadian Coal to discuss the progress of their projects in our area. It was decided that an attempt will be made to bring together key Ministries in the same room to seek overall support for the project, including a willingness to reduce or remove the roadblocks that would prevent the project from moving forward. Tumbler Ridge will act as a community champion by lobbying when necessary and bringing parties together. It is believed that once they get the government blessing investors will come forward. Proulx asked Council for permission to move forward with this. Council in agreement.

9. Mayor and EDO Ray Proulx attended the Showcase for Canadian Exporters: A Link to Asia and had a booth showcasing Tumbler Ridge. They were inundated with questions, comments and requests for the entire time they were there. Many contacts were made, English as a Second Language program concepts, were received with much interest, interest in products supplied by Babcock Mountain Sawmills and Aurora Forest Products, there was also interest in sawdust, waste paper and minerals. Mayor Iles was designated as one of the VIP dignitaries and helped open the show with a ceremonious ribbon cutting. Proulx is currently following up with contacts that were made.

10. Councillor Way brought up a concern about commercial dumpster fees being changed from quarterly to yearly. This makes it difficult for businesses that don?t have great cash flow. Nigel Black said that this was done because of the wording in the bylaw, Council can give direction to make an amendment to this bylaw to allow for quarterly payment. Direction given.

11. Meeting adjourned to closed meeting.