Oct 10th Valemount Council: housing, air quality and taxes

by GOAT STAFF

Mayor Jeannette Townsend, councillors Hollie Blanchette, Peter Reimer, Sandy Salt and Owen Torgerson met on October 10, 2017 for a council meeting after 4 weeks. Corporate Services Clerk Carleena Shepherd and Economic Development Officer Silvio Gislimberti were present. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Adam Davey joined the meeting remotely.

Opposition to Reduction in Greyhound Service

Council voted to send a letter to thank the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George for sending a letter to the BC Passenger Safety Board asking it to reject Greyhound’s application to reduce services in northern B.C. as it would further isolate these communities and leave them without access to services.

Council also recommended sending their own letter to the Board to deny their application to eliminate the route affecting Valemount, as Greyhound is the only option for many residents.

Upcoming Air Quality Forum

The mayor invited the community to attend an Air Quality Forum on October 27 organized by the B.C. Lung Association and the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The goal of the forum is to provide the community with facts about air quality and related health effects. The forum will also discuss constructive ways in which the public and stakeholders can collaboratively move forward to improve the air quality within the community.

Valemount Recognized for Climate Change action

The Green Communities Committee congratulated the Village for achieving a Level 3 recognition “Accelerating progress on Charter Commitments” for their action on climate change and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the community and corporate operations.

Street Vendor Permit for Funky Goat Eatery to move

Council gave approval for the Funky Goat to move its temporary location from the parking lot of the old Shop Easy building to across the street at 1170 5th Avenue, beside the old Stedmans / now Rocky Mountain Goat newspaper office, for a period of three years. A public hearing will be held on October 24 to give final consideration to the permit.

Housing Committee recommends Zoning Bylaw changes

Council received recommendations from the Housing Committee to consider changing three zoning bylaws – reduce lot size, reduce restrictions on dwelling size and allow multiple dwellings in conjunction with commercial buildings, and asked staff to review these recommendations. The rationale for the recommendations were to give more options for housing and bring more lots into the market.

NDIT Business Façade program

Council approved that staff apply for the NDIT Business Façade Improvement Program for 2018. The program gives up to $20,000 to local governments so that the private sector can seek matching funds to improve the business facade.

NDIT Grant Writer Program

Council approved that staff apply for the NDIT Grant Writing Support Program for 2018. The program gives up to $8000 towards employing a local grant writer.

NDIT Internship Program

Council approved that staff apply for the 2018 NDIT Internship program to hire an intern to work at the Village. NDIT would provide $30,000 to the Village’s contribution $15,000 to employ the intern for a 12-month term.
Amendment to Development Procedures Bylaw 773, 2017

Council gave final reading and adopted the bylaw that would allow the CAO, rather than council, to approve a development permit if the proposed improvements to a property total less than $50,000.

Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw 774, 2017

Council gave third reading to the bylaw giving 100% property exemption to churches and seniors housing, arena and fire department, 75% exemption to the Lion’s Club, Legion and VARDA and a 50% tax exemption to the Valemount Curling Club.

Council Remuneration Bylaw 775, 2017

Council approved first, second and third reading to the bylaw that would give a 2% increase in keeping up with the Consumer Price Index taking the mayor’s salary in 2018 to $18,746.18 and councillor’s salary to $8436.28.

Local Area Service Parcel Tax Bylaw 776, 2017

Council approved first, second and third reading to the bylaw to establish the cost for installation and the process to implement taxes for properties affected by previously approved Sanitary Sewer Local Area Service Establishment Bylaw 761, 2017 which provided staff the approval to proceed with the installation of a sewer line on Cranberry Lake Road.

New Policy for Municipal Pension Plan Eligibility

Council approved policy 67 that determines that employees are eligible to enrol in the pension plan if they are permanent, following a probation period, or have completed a full year of employment if they are a temporary employee.

New Policy for Internal Job Posting

Council approved policy #68 to create consistency in procedures for staff to apply for a different position that has opened up with the village.

Council Reports

Councillor Blanchette gave her report from attending the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in September. She attended a session on affordable housing, drove an electric vehicle, achieved her Level 2 certificate in Local Government Leadership, attended a film screening on addictions and mental health, met the Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure and well as Minister of Energy & Mines and Oberto Oberti, who was with a delegation from Valemount Glacier Destinations.

Councillor Reimer attended the Agriculture tour and suggested Valemount consider developing a Cranberry farm as most of the cranberries grown in B.C. are shipped off without any processing. He said that the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure had responded promptly to their request to decommission the pullout at the corner of Highway 5 and Loseth leading into iRVin’s RV park making it less hazardous to turn onto and off the highway. He felt that every business on the highway should have safe turn off lanes. Reimer also attended the Municipal Insurance Association’s Open House and the Electric Vehicle Study Tour at UBCM.

Councillor Salt reported attending the electric vehicle study tour, achieving her level 1 and 2 Leadership in Local Government certificate and a workshop on Uncivil Civic Engagement (regarding the challenges of social media) at UBCM. She also attended a strategic planning session with council and CAO on September 14 as well as a Columbia Basin Rural Advisory Council meeting.

Councillor Torgerson went to the Simpcw Bike Park opening at Chu Chua on behalf of VARDA on September 20. He also attended VARDA’s AGM, and meetings for the Direct Heat Use Committee, Valemount Community Forest and Tourism Valemount

Mayor Townsend said she attended the Rural Municipalities meeting and the needs of resort communities were discussed. She also met the Ministers of Health, Energy & Mines and Transportation & Infrastructure as well as attended a breakfast hosted by Kindermorgan Trans Mountain which was attended by Alberta’s Minister of Environment. Other community events included the sign unveiling of the new Fowler Place street on October 4.