Valemount Council considers pay increase, street vendor, airport expansion

Valemount Community TV recording of the October 24th 2017 meeting

By Goat Staff

Mayor Jeannette Townsend, councillors Hollie Blanchette, Peter Reimer, Sandy Salt and Owen Torgerson met on October 24, 2017. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Adam Davey, Corporate Services Clerk Carleena Shepherd and Director of Finance (DoF) Lori McNee were present.

Street Vendor Permit for Funky Goat Eatery to move

Council gave final consideration for the Funky Goat to operate at 1170 5th Avenue, between the new Rocky Mountain Goat newspaper office and Three Ranges Brewery, for a period of three years. The public hearing did not have any public comment or letters.

Delegation from Royal Canadian Legion

Branch 266 President Pete Pearson kicked off the Poppy campaign leading to Remembrance Day by pinning a poppy on each of the Mayor, Councillors and staff.

BC Natural Resource Forum

Since other councillors were unavailable, Mayor Townsend said she would attend the forum in Prince George in January 2018, as she would be there the same week for regional district meetings.

Community Christmas Tree

Council gave approval to the request from the Christmas Tree committee to install the tree at Centennial Park, provided that the committee and the Valemount Community Forest be wholly responsible for all aspects of the installation and removal of the tree, signs, decorations, etc. under the supervision of the Village Public Works.

Utility Rates Increase

DoF McNee gave an in-depth presentation on why the utility rates need to increase in 2018. She said that preventing infrastructure failure and building a reserve for infrastructure replacement is the main reason for the increase. “We own a lot of infrastructure today, compared to back-in-the-day,” she said. Water rates had not increased since 2014 while sewer rates had not increased since 2011. Also the provincial reporting requirements and new codes for trained staff required more of the Village.

Council recommended that the water rate and sewer rates increase by 9.5% and the solid waste rate increase by 3% for 2018 and 2019. On average, the customer’s residential utility bill will go from $786.36 to $851.74 ($70.98 per month). In order for the recommendation to take effect, it will go through a bylaw process with first, second and third reading before new rates can take effect for 2018.

The mayor also asked staff to look into a grant for installation of water meters.

Valemount Glacier Destination Progress Report

Vice President of Pheidias Group Tommaso Oberti gave a written update to council on the project including Detailed Design and Pre-construction planning, Phasing Updates, Operations Planning and First Nations Consultation. (The report is available online on the village website as part of the October 24 council agenda).

Columbia Basin Trust Housing Initiatives

Council asked that Mr. Mark Brunton, Manager of the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) Housing Initiatives, be invited to meet with Council and present the Housing Initiatives Strategic Framework 2016/17–2019/20 developed by CBT.

Proposed Airport Expansion

Council supported the future expansion of the Valemount Airport and the northern relocation of Valemount Glacier Destination Resort’s (VGDR) proposed access road to allow for the required setbacks with the potential Valemount Airport expansion. Council directed staff to compose a letter to the Regional District of Fraser Fort George board requesting a letter of support for both the Valemount Airport Expansion and the relocation of the access road.

Quarterly Budget

Council received the 2017 Quarterly Budget Report (January – September).

Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw 774, 2017

Council adopted this 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 also acknowledged that the Valemount Lions Club property was still subject to the original exemption even though its legal property information had changed.

Council Remuneration Bylaw 775, 2017

Council adopted the bylaw giving a 2% increase in keeping up with the Consumer Price Index to take the mayor’s salary in 2018 to $18,746.18 and councillor’s salary to $8,436.28.

Local Area Service Parcel Tax Bylaw 776, 2017

Council adopted 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.

Council Reports

Councillor Torgerson and Mayor Townsend attended the CBT Symposium from October 13-15 at Kimberley.

Mayor Townsend, Councillors Salt, Blanchette and Torgerson attended the Utilities working group meeting on October 17.

Mayor Townsend also attended the CBT board and committee meetings.

Council moved to send a letter of condolence to City of Fernie for the loss of 3 lives as a result of the ammonia leak tragedy.

In-Camera Items

Council closed the public portion of the council meeting to discuss four in-camera items.